New boutique hotels coming to 2 Coast cities as part of $30 million in development

Bay St. Louis is cooking, with the addition of several restaurants along the waterfront over the past year and now the start of construction of a boutique hotel on North Beach Boulevard at Main Street.

An $11 million construction permit recently was issued for the North Beach Hotel, designed by New Orleans architect Trapolin-Peer and being built by local businessman Mike Cure. The new hotel will balconies will put those who stay there in the middle of the city’s festivals, eateries and shops.

The start of construction puts building permits for the first six weeks of 2019 to $29 million. That’s nearly three times the $10 million in new permits at this time in 2018.

Drivers on U.S. 90 in Gulfport can watch as Centennial Plaza, the former Veterans Administration property, is transformed into a waterfront resort. Two of the buildings on the site are being restored to become the Holiday Inn Resort.

An additional $1.2 million construction permit was issued this year for a new restaurant in building 64, one of the 10 historic buildings on the site and $300,000 for the pool area.

Now a $4 million permit was pulled to convert 63 rooms in a building at the back of the property in to a boutique hotel getaway.

It will become “The Grand Centennial,” Cono Caranna, spokesman for Barrington Development, announced to the Sun Herald.

Barrington Development also restored the White House Hotel and Margaritaville Resort Biloxi. In addition to the work at Centennial Plaza, the company is restoring the former Markham Hotel in downtown Gulfport and the Santa Maria senior housing in downtown Biloxi into hotels.

New and improved

A variety of commercial development and residential development is coming up all across the Coast. Among the new projects are:

A groundbreaking ceremony on Feb. 6 kicked off construction of a model home and the start of Phase 1 at Hidden Springs, a subdivision in Woolmarket that’s been in the works for year. Developer Phil Frisby said the first phase has 26 lots around a circle and all the custom homes will have city water and sewer. These Southland Designer Homes will range in price from $270,000 to $350,000, he said. Hidden Springs has has 1,478 acres to develop and Frisby said, “It’s going to come in phases over the next 10 years.”

The entrances are paved and the first buildings at The Inlet, a $10 million mixed use project with 95 condos on U.S. 90 in Ocean Springs, will begin opening in March or April, spokeswoman Tracey Ross reported to the Ocean Springs Lions Club. Keg and Barrel, a popular gastropub in Hattiesburg, will open in the complex in the fall and Ross said the developers are in negotiations to fill the retail spaces.

“The market looks good,” said Brian Bolis with NAI Sawyer Commercial in Gulfport, the selling agent for Island Strikz bowling lanes on Pass Road in Gulfport, which has sat empty since 2017. “We’ve got a lot of great deals in the pipeline,” he said. The building was sold this month to Sky Storage and owner Jennifer Davi is transforming it into a 225-unit storage facility. “It will be 100 percent climate controlled,” said Davi, who built Storage City in D’Iberville and other storage facilities around the state. She said there also will be space for boats and RVs.

The new sportsbook at IP Casino Resort opened in August at its permanent location on the second floor just in time for the Super Bowl. It is connected to Highlights Sports Lounge., which replaced High Tides Café, and provides a larger area for betting with 12 odds boards, a television wall for watching the game and easy access to food and drink at Highlights Sports Lounge.

GCP Laboratories, the nation’s largest producer of antacids under the name Geri-Care is expanding on U.S. 49 in Gulfport. “Up to 200 new jobs will be created due to this expansion right here in the USA and supporting American workers,” Gov. Phil Bryant said during the ribbon cutting.

Oceans Healthcare has acquired Merit Health Gulf Oaks and its behavioral health centers and services. The transaction includes the 45-bed Merit Health Gulf Oaks facility, its day school and outpatient clinic, and the Seniors Harbor unit of Merit Health Biloxi. It’s now Oceans Behavioral Hospital Biloxi.

City and school upgrades

Biloxi will spend $228,000 to upgrade electrical service at Point Cadet Marina. The work should be done in time for the Mississippi Gulf Coast Billfish Classic June 3-9.

Work is beginning on a new Greyhound Stadium for Ocean Springs School District now that a $3.8 million permit for the project has been issued.

Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College held a groundbreaking ceremony Jan. 23 for a new residence hall with 103 rooms and student union with a dining facility for up to 600 residents on the Perkinston Campus. The project will be complete in late 2019. The campus also just opened its new softball stadium, the Ross-Smith Field at Perk.

At the Jackson County Campus of MGCCC, renovations to the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics building will provide a career tech lab, two computer labs, classrooms and other facilities. Work should be complete in spring 2020.

Coast Episcopal School in Long Beach is adding a middle school along with a makerspace — a facility that will let students explore their own interests and develop creative projects through the use of physical and virtual tools.

Among the projects going out for bids are a cafeteria addition at Harrison Central High School, site work for future development of a new D’Iberville Police Department, a Gulf Coast History and Eco system Trail at Jeff Davis Campus of MGCCC and infrastructure improvements in Gautier at at Bemis Avenue and Old Spanish Trail/Gautier-Vancleave Road.

Liquor licenses

Among those applying for liquor licenses on the Coast are:

  • Raw Oyster Bar, 708 Washington Avenue, Ocean Springs

  • D&M Excursions, Betsy Ann Riverboat, Biloxi

  • Ichiban’s Sushi, 803 Bienville Blvd., Ocean Springs

  • Long Beach Harbor Resorts, 217 East Beach Blvd., Long Beach

  • 27th Avenue Bistro, 1310 27th Ave., Gulfport

  • High Proof Wine & Liquor, 1888 Beach Blvd., Biloxi

Ribbon cuttings

  • Feb. 5 – Visualize LLC, a cleaning and organizing company at 2901 Bienville Blvd., Ocean Springs

  • Feb. 7 – Island Winds Title Company, 2812 Government St., Ocean Springs

  • Feb. 12 – Guarantee Restoration, residential commercial restoration services from water, fire, mold, 34 29th St., Gulfport

  • Feb. 12 – Double D Crafts & More, 295 U.S. 90, Suite 15, Bay St. Louis

  • Feb. 19 – Hargrove Engineers + Contractors, 1831 Dr. Reuben morris Drive, Pascagoula

  • Feb. 20 – Castle Bookkeeping, 12236 Ashley Drive, Gulfport

  • Feb. 21 – Cajun Planters, 2730 Pass Road, Biloxi

  • Feb. 22 – About Time Antiques & Finds, 615 Pass Road, Gulfport

  • Feb. 26 – New location of A-B Advocate Group, 1420 Ingalls Ave., Pascagoula

  • Feb. 27 – Exceed Physical Therapy, 12261 U.S. 49, Gulfport

  • Feb. 28 – Harbor Market, 217 E. Beach Blvd., Long Beach

  • March 6 – Salus Home Care, 13109 Shriner’s Blvd., Biloxi

  • March 7 – Brantley Ellison Fitness, 921 Cedar Lake Road, Biloxi

More to come

According to the Treen Report, other building permits issued over the past month are:

  • $2.4 million for a new water tower at 57 51st St., Gulfport.

  • $903,000 for a car wash for Lirette Auto Wash Investments, 2240 Denny Ave., Pascagoula

  • $407,000 for renovation to Moss Point School District culinary arts, 4924 Church St., Moss Point

  • $244,000 for renovation on second floor of Memorial Hospital, 4500 13th St., Gulfport

  • $240,000 for construction at The Village in Ocean Springs shopping Center, 4010 Bienville Blvd., Ocean Springs

  • $225,000 for tenant finish for Shoppes at Washington Avenue, 6835 Washington Ave., Ocean Springs

  • $178,000 for doctor’s office at 13034 Shriner’s Blvd., Biloxi

  • $165,000 for grocery pickup at Walmart, 2681 CT Switzer Drive, Biloxi

  • $114,000 for deck at McElroy’s Restaurant, 695 Beach Blvd., Biloxi

  • $90,000.Renovation at Ocean Springs School District, 2320 Government St., Ocean Springs

  • $75,000 for office for Jaques Pucheau, 8927 Lorraine Road, Gulfport

  • $50,000 to reface front facade at Village Square Shopping Center, 2667 E. Pass Road, Gulfport

  • $50,000 for renovation for 4201 Tulane LLC at 1310 27th Ave., Gulfport

Mary Perez is the business and casino reporter for the Sun Herald and also writes about Biloxi, jobs and the new restaurants and development coming to the Coast. She is a fourth-generation journalist.