Beachfront homes to be built in Biloxi for the first time since Hurricane Katrina | New
A 16-lot “vacation village” on the south side of Beach Boulevard gained approval from Biloxi council on Tuesday, but no plans for an RV park next to Edgewater Village.
The proposed beach sites at 1845 and 1851 Beach Boulevard are just west of the Shell gas station on the south side of US 90 at Veterans Avenue.
The property is directly south of Big Play Family Fun Park and connected by a boardwalk that stretches from near the Treasure Bay Casino past Restaurant Row. Rob Stinson, owner of The Reef on Restaurant Row, is one of the developers of the project, said Councilor Kenny Glavan.
The property has been vacant since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
âIt is simply exciting to see this waterfront property come to life,â said Glavan.
The Biloxi Planning Commission and City Council unanimously approved the zoning change to allow for development. A rendering of the type of house that could be built on Biloxi Beach was presented to the Planning Commission.
Freddie Fountain with Fountain & Associates in Gulfport presented plans for the Beach Side Subdivision to the Planning Board on behalf of owners Maenza Property Management and Jolene Weill. The developer is Camdav, a Gulfport company that Fountain says has done similar projects. It will be a Florida-style beach development, Fountain said, with around nine beach lots and seven more inside.
Fountain said he didn’t think there was a single residential building on the sand in Biloxi or along the coast from Katrina.
âAll the lots and houses will be built facing south to have this beach environment,â he said.
A minimum of about 3,000 square feet will be required, he said, and the homes should be built on poured concrete or cement block piles and with a metal roof. Fountain said they will have four parking spaces under each house and two parking spaces for guests.
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City Councilor George Lawrence asked how homeowners would get insurance if each property was sold individually.
âThis is an issue they will have to resolve,â Creel said, adding that he is sure the insurance will be part of the funding approval for the developer. City Councilor Nathan Barrett asked if Biloxi has any other areas south of US 90 that are buildable.
âWe expect a development right next to that,â Creel said.
Shortly after Hurricane Katrina, several condominiums were proposed along the beach from Veterans Avenue east towards Rodenberg Avenue, but they were never built.
The beach is an attractive place to live, overlooking the sunset and within walking distance of the casino, attractions, shops, and restaurants. Still, this site has not been easy to market, said Doug Molyneaux, a Biloxi real estate broker who said he has been representing Weill since Cuco’s of Biloxi restaurant was on this property about 16 years ago.
He said they looked at the development of the hotel and the type of construction needed on the beach versus the amount of revenue generated per room.
âThere is no way the costs will make sense for any kind of hotel development on the beach right now,â he said. ” I can not do it. It’s just not doable, âhe said. Built just north of the sea wall, the houses will be expensive to build and reinforce against winds and surges from hurricanes.
Fountain said other uses of the land have been explored.
âThey watch us in restaurants. Your national chain restaurants, most of them have a prototype, but the prototypes don’t allow you to build them like that, âhe said. âSo the best we can do is probably a local restaurant, and all of these local restaurants are already there and can afford the beach.â
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Fountain said they are also considering building condominiums. âWe looked at everything,â he said. âI just want to say that I think this is a great use for the property.
Brian Bolis of NAI Sawyer in Gulfport said he represents the owner of the two acres adjacent to the Weill property and has had the same issues. He said this type of single-family home development has been very successful in Gulf Shores and along the Florida Panhandle.
The RV park was rejected by the planning commission after neighbors complained about this type of development, said Jerry Creel, director of community development at Biloxi. Council also voted against the project and the owner is already working on another land proposal at the Old Breakers site at 2506 Beach Blvd., he said.
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