Downtown plans again on council agenda

Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich’s efforts to restore downtown Biloxi were front and center at the Biloxi City Council meeting again today, with councilmembers approving an analysis of the need for parking garage between Lameuse and Main streets, where a permit has been issued for Community Bank to begin demolition of the long-vacant federal courthouse building.

Last week, councilmembers approved a $1.9 million, 180-day contract for Gulf Breeze Landscaping to construct a new two-lane Howard Avenue between Reynoir and Lameuse streets, with a new intersection to also be constructed where Howard Avenue merges with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, east of Bradford-O’Keefe Funeral Home.

The actual construction of the new Howard Avenue, which will be a brick-surfaced roadway with on-street parking, could begin by the end of April.

Today, in a measure proposed by Gilich, the city would fund half of a $25,000 analysis that Harrison County had envisioned to determine the need for a parking garage at the former federal courthouse site.

Leigh Jaunsen of the architectural firm Dale Partners said Community Bank was working on plans for a new building at the courthouse site, but said those conducting business at the Harrison County Courthouse and at nearby downtown businesses would probably continue to park at the site.

“The county realizes that there is growing interest in downtown Biloxi, and when Community Bank comes forward with its plans, we need to be a stakeholder in what’s happening in downtown Biloxi,” Gilich said. “This is not about next year or the year after, this is about five and 10 years down the road.”

The analysis would determine the need for a parking garage, where it would be best situated on the bank-owned site or other downtown site, how large it would need to be, and a funding mechanism.


Gilich: Still ‘happening now’

Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich launched today’s council meeting by updating a host of issues – Keesler gate work, new fire stations and more – that he originally touted in his State of the City address, themed “Happening Now,” back in January.
Read his report from today
Video: See the State of the City from January
See photos from the Council meeting today


Building permit issued for Edgewater Mall theater

A permit with a construction value of $6.5 million has been issued for Premiere Cinema, the movie theater at the Edgewater Mall.

The permit was one of 68 building permits issued last week by the city’s Community Development Department.  In addition, the department issued permits for the remodeling of the Costa Cucina Restaurant at the IP Casino Resort, the Big Play Family Fun Center arcade area and the Burger King on Pass Road.

The movie theater, to be located at the mall’s south entrance at the former Sears site, will be a state-of-the-art digital theater with eight screens and luxury recliner seats operated by Texas-based Premiere Cinemas.

Also last week, The Biloxi Fire Department received 128 call for service, including 79 medical and nine fires; the Biloxi Police Department handled 2,574 calls for service; and the Engineering Department continued progress on more than three dozen projects.
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News and notes: St. Patrick’s dance, parade; Grillin’ on the Green photos

Special Needs St. Pat’s dance:  The Biloxi Parks & Recreation Department held its annual Special Needs St. Patrick’s Day Dance on Friday evening where a grand marshal and colleen were crowned. To see images from the event, click here

St. Pat’s parade images: The annual St. Patrick’s Day parade rolled through downtown Biloxi Saturday afternoon with Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich as the grand marshal. To see images from the parade, click here.

Grillin’ on the Green:  The Biloxi Green was filled with grillers, vendors, and visitors on Saturday for the annual Grillin’ on the Green event.  To see images from the event, click here. To see images taken by photographer August Taconi, click here.