Development in Biloxi keeping pace with 2008

Biloxi has issued more than $110 million in construction permits since the first of the year, on track with the quarter-billion dollars in permits in all of last year, which Community Development Director Jerry Creel calls a remarkable feat considering the state of the national economy.

“What we’re seeing right now is a significant amount of development that had its funding and necessary permits in place before the downturn in the national economy,” Creel said. “There’s no doubt that we would be seeing more had the credit market not tightened up as much as it did.”

The Community Development Department last week issued reports that show the amount of work under construction since January to June, the first half of the year.

Most of the inquiries his department hears from developers these days involve hotels, motels and senior housing, but single-family homes also are being built.

“We also just recently issued more that 200 permits for single family homes in the Timber Creek subdivision, which is between Highway 67 and Hudson-Krohn Road in the Woolmarket community,” Creel said. “That project will eventually include 209 affordable homes over more than 91 acres.”

Creel has long believed that Biloxi’s rate of development is underrated.

“Our development is not concentrated in one area,” Creel said, “so the overall amount of development that we have underway throughout the city may not be immediately evident to the casual observer. Since it’s spread throughout the city, it’s not as noticeable. Once you see the list you begin to get an idea of what’s really going on.”

Among the big-ticket items under construction:

— $30 million in permits for Timber Lake subdivision

— $17 million for the Gates of Biloxi, a 224-unit apartment complex on Woolmarket Road;

— $9 million for a new wing to house the ninth grade at Biloxi High School;

— $7.3 million for Point Cadet Marina repairs;

— $7 million for the Sheraton Avalon, a 204-unit hotel at the former Gulf Towers Apartments site;

— $7 million for Bay Cove Place, the initial 56-unit phase of a condo project off Brasher Road;

— $6.2 million for the Biloxi Small Craft Harbor reconstruction;

— $2.1 million for First Missionary Baptist Church on Esters Boulevard;

— $2 million permit for St. Michael Catholic Church on Point Cadet.

— Besides the Timber Lake homes, a total of 26 additional homes accounted for $4.7 million in construction permits.

Said Creel: “I believe that Biloxi is a destination point, and that the interest we’re seeing is a combination of residents coming home and developers who are visionaries and can see the tremendous promise of our community.”

See for yourself

— To see the list of projects that received permits since Jan. 1, 2009, click here.

— To see construction photos from nearly three-dozen projects that were permitted since the first of the year, click here.

— To see the list of projects in the Development Review Committee, meaning they are headed toward receiving their permits, click here.