Development In Downtown Biloxi Moving Forward - - The News for South Mississippi

Development In Downtown Biloxi Moving Forward

By Don Culpepper - bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - A long vacant filling station is being transformed into a downtown bar and grill in Biloxi. That's the kind of news Ed Shambra likes to hear.  

"They came to us one day and said, 'Would you like to see a little restaurant and bar,'" Shambra said. "And we said, 'Hey, show us the plans.'"

As Executive Planner for Biloxi's Community Development Department, Shambra is seeing more and more of those kinds of projects being proposed in this area.   

"We have a lot of projects that they are at least talking to us," Shambra. "We're in the discussion stage with a great number of them. We have a number of them in our development review committee pipeline. And we're actually seeing permits now being issued in some cases."

Shambra said several others are already well past the talking and planning stages.  

"We have the new Hancock Bank, which is, of course, one of the premiere projects that we're really proud of, down on Howard Avenue," Shambra said. "We also have the new credit union project, that's on Porter and Howard Avenue, which just went into construction phase."

Shambra said downtown residential development was a priority before Hurricane Katrina, and still is today.  

"It's always been a big issue. And it's something we really want to promote strongly in the downtown area, particularly with the gas crisis that we have and the advent of people, maybe, taking the bus to work downtown. We might actually see a lot more people coming and gravitating to the downtown area in a residential capacity."

Shambra said that could happen within the next few years, insuring that what Katrina couldn't destroy, won't die of neglect.

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