Biloxi, state to seek input on Point Cadet waterfront plan

Mayor A.J. Holloway will ask the City Council on Tuesday for approval to move forward with preliminary plans to re-develop the publicly owned land at Point Cadet, at the tip of the Biloxi peninsula.

The city and state control much of the vacant public land south of U.S. 90 at Point Cadet, where the J.L. Scott Marine Education Center and Aquarium had been located. The city owns the waterfront section north of the Biloxi Bay Bridge, an area known as Point Cadet Plaza, where pre-Katrina visitors could find the Maritime and Seafood Industry Museum and a former Coast Guard hangar that housed the city’s Farmers Market and many community festivals.

Holloway has been meeting with Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann about the future of the area, particularly the area south of the highway. As Secretary of State, Hosemann is responsible for state-owned land and also administers the Tidelands Trust Fund, which collects millions of dollars each year from leasing bottomlands to casino operators.

“There are plans for the Point Cadet area going back to the 1980s,” Holloway said. “People talked about it after the storm, and plans were done then, too. What Secretary Hosemann and I want to do is see something happen down there in the way of public access and use. We’re talking about things like expanding the Point Cadet Marina northward to accommodate more vessels, a user friendly boardwalk that laps the waterfront from the Isle all the way around, maybe a seafood market, restaurants, and other public uses, all along a well-landscaped, walkable corridor with convenient parking nearby.”

Grover Mouton, executive director of the Tulane Regional Urban Design Center, will discuss a public outreach effort with the City Council on Tuesday, and will provide an overview on the process leading to the re-development of the area.

Said Holloway: “Secretary Hosemann and I believe the first step is to make sure we get good and timely input from the public before moving forward. We know that this is valuable land and is a great gateway into the City of Biloxi. We want to make sure it’s going to be something we’re all proud of.”