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These were the biggest construction projects of the year on the Mississippi Coast

Some of the largest construction projects of 2017 on the Mississippi Coast include, clockwise from top left, the renovation of Winn-Dixie in Ocean Springs, Saltgrass Steakhouse in Biloxi, Beach Casino at Island View Casino in Gulfport and the Hilton Garden Inn in Biloxi.
Some of the largest construction projects of 2017 on the Mississippi Coast include, clockwise from top left, the renovation of Winn-Dixie in Ocean Springs, Saltgrass Steakhouse in Biloxi, Beach Casino at Island View Casino in Gulfport and the Hilton Garden Inn in Biloxi. Sun Herald

It was a year for new hotels and restaurants, for investing in school facilities and for remodeling and expanding businesses in South Mississippi and 2017 finished with about $175 million in commercial construction permits.

Rick Carter, co-owner of Island View Casino in Gulfport, said their new 70,000-square-foot casino on the south side of U.S. 90 will be smoke free to be more attractive to millennials and other non-smokers.

Leading the investment, Roy Anderson Corp. pulled a $30 million permit for construction of Beach Casino at Island View Casino Resort in Gulfport. When the a smoke-free casino on the south side of U.S. 90 in complete this summer, the $75 million investment combined with the casino on the north side of the highway will give Island View the largest casino space on the Coast and in the state.

The Treen Reports for new construction permits show investment continued strong right to the end of the year.

In December, a $1.6 million permit was issued for a walkway, lights, stage and other improvements along the waterfront in Pascagoula.

The year also closed with a $466,000 permit issued for the slab foundation for a future building at The Chemours Co. on Kiln DeLisle Road in Pass Christian. Already under construction for The Chemours Co. is an office/warehouse along Interstate 10 in Pass Christian. An $11 million permit was issued for that project in May.

Two recently-remodeled grocery stores in Ocean Springs feature an emphasis on prepared and ready-to-cook foods to help shoppers who want to put dinner on the table fast. Both the Winn-Dixie and Rouses Market grocery stores celebrated their new loo

During 2017, building officials in the three Coast counties issued 34 building permits topping $1 million not including the furniture and other finishes. Among the largest commercial building permits were:

▪ $12 million for a 100 room Hilton Garden Inn, 648 Beach Blvd. Biloxi

▪ $4.1 million for Hillcrest Dental Group, 9231 Old Lorraine Road, Gulfport

▪ $3.5 million for renovations at Winn-Dixie, Ocean Springs

▪ $3 million for Saltgrass Steak House, 140 Beach Blvd., Biloxi

▪ $2.6 million for renovations at Sam’s Club, Gulfport

▪ $2.5 million for renovations at Rouses Market, Ocean Springs

▪ $2.5 million for renovations at VT Halter Marine, Pascagoula

▪ $2.4 million for a 60 room assisted living facility on Ocean Springs Road, Ocean Springs

▪ $2 million for Mugshots Grill & Bar, 130 Main St., Biloxi

▪ $2 million for an industrial building at Seemann Composites, Gulfport

▪ $1.6 million for Machado Patano engineering office at 918 Howard Ave., Biloxi

▪ $1.2 million for addition and renovations at Pav & Broome Fine Jewelry, Gulfport

Foodies made out well in 2017, with many new restaurants opened and improvements made to others. In Biloxi, White Pillars fine dining restaurant returned after decades of being closed. A new Blind Tiger restaurant opened on the beach at Harrah’s Gulf Coast in Biloxi and a new Starbucks moved into the resort.

Starbucks was swapped for a Dunkin’ Donuts at Hard Rock Biloxi, and other Dunkin’ Donuts opened on Cedar Lake Road. Sonic came to Biloxi with indoor seating. Felix’s Restaurant, a French Quarter staple, opened on the beach in Gulfport and The Rackhouse opened in downtown Gulfport.

Corks and Cleaver restaurant closed in downtown Gulfport, and Chef David Dickensauge opened C&C Italian Bistro in Bay St. Louis. Gulf Coast Grill was renovated at the Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport. Silver Slipper Casino in Hancock County added an outdoor oyster bar right along the waterfront.

More than $20 million in building permits were issued for additions and renovations at universities and local school districts, led by $9.5 million for an expansion and new classrooms at William Carey University.

Counties and cities also invested in new facilities in 2017. Biloxi took out a $2.9 million building permit for the Causeway Park and Jackson County took a permit for $1.2 million for a new clubhouse at Whispering Pines Golf Course.

Home construction boomed across South Mississippi in 2017. About 860 residential building permits were issued in Harrison and Hancock counties combined last year and 340 in Jackson County.

Watch the transformation of South Mississippi’s shoreline as it changes from shrimp docks and empty seafood factories into the centerpiece of the region’s economy. After Hurricane Katrina, they rebuilt and re-invented to retain their place.

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