New Business, Residents Flock To Biloxi's New 'Uptown'

By Elise Roberts - bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Five years ago, things looked a lot different in the North Bay area. Now with dozens of new businesses and planned expansions, North Bay is quickly becoming the new place to live, work and shop.

"We have approximately six to eight banks. We have about four to five new restaurants coming online, a half a dozen new subdivisions, and two brand new apartment complexes," said Ward Six Councilman Ed Gemmill.

Gemmill remembers when things were much different in ward six.

"Five years ago, you had a lot more cow pastures. You go two blocks to your east to D'Iberville and what's left is what this particular area used to look like prior to the development of the present time," Gemmill said.

Now Popp's Ferry Road is four lanes. The Nor d'Leau shopping plaza is in full swing and there's construction of another plaza just yards away. But is the city overbuilding?

"With the traffic count 45,000 to 50,000 on Popp's Ferry, and Cedar Lake Road being one of the highest on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Not at all," Gemmill said.

Gemmill said the proof is the much needed expansion of North Bay roadways, not to mention the $14 million addition to Biloxi High School. Besides, local businesses don't mind the competition.

The North Bay businesses boom is the reason Tom Wilson invested in Grains of Montana.

"In our opinion, it's growing. It's got no place to go but up," said Grains of Montana owner Tom Wilson. "It's a lot going on here. It's a wonderful place to live. And we're a family oriented restaurant and it's a family type demographic."

The new bakery will open its doors in a few days. And while the eatery is the newest addition to the area, it's evident South Mississippians won't have to wait long to see even more development north of the bay.

"Downtown will always be downtown, regardless. For the last 309 years, that's downtown Biloxi. But this is the new uptown Biloxi," Gemmill said.