Ingalls expansion, new Rouses, aquarium tram bridge part of $89M in Coast development

It’s by far South Mississippi’s biggest project this year as Ingalls Shipbuilding kicks off $79 million in development in Pascagoula.

Building permits were issued for $68 million for three new fabrication shops and $13 million for site and infrastructure work. Ingalls Shipbuilding announced a year ago that it would reopen shipbuilding facilities on the east bank of the Pascagoula River, which is the original site of Ingalls Shipbuilding. The east shipyard was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

“The primary component of the project includes the addition of large, covered production areas for the construction of ship assemblies and components, as well as the restoration of an outfitting pier,” said Bill Glenn, corporate manager for public relations.

“The east bank facility will allow us to further support new ship construction as well as any modernization efforts we may have in the future,” he said. Construction should be complete in 2020.

Ingalls delivered the guided missile destroyer USS Paul Ignatius (DDG 117) to the Navy in February and held the keel laying and authentication ceremony for USS Bougainville (LH 8) in March.

Among the other new projects starting or finishing on the Coast are:

A tram bridge from the Mississippi Aquarium will be built over U.S. 90, connecting Jones Park in downtown Gulfport.

People will be able to walk, ride a bike or hop onto the free tram across the bridge, said Kevin Coggin, executive director of Coast Transit Authority. Although the exact look of the tram is still in discussion, he said it will be electric powered and pull open air cars, similar to those used in the parking lots at Disney. The tram will be ADA accessible and separate from the pedestrian area of the bridge. The tram will have a shade roof, he said, but the bridge will not.

Gov. Phil Bryant announced Wednesday that $6.7 million in GOMESA funds will help pay for the $9.9 million crossover. The project has $2.6 million from the Federal Transit Administration and a $3.25 million local match. Until the GOMESA money from offshore energy drilling was added, “We did not have the money to go into construction,” Coggin said. “Now we do.”

The bridge won’t be ready when the aquarium opens in late 2019 or early in 2020, but improvements to the parking garage will, he said.

“This whole thing is about creating transportation choices,” Coggin said. People can visit the aquarium, walk or take the tram over to the park, pedal over from Ocean Springs and put their bike on the front of the bus for the ride home.

Rouses Market has $4 million building permit to remodel the building at 1444 E. Pass Road, Gulfport, where the store will move from its current location on Pass Road this spring.

Majestic RV Park that is coming to Biloxi has more room to spread across the beachfront lot. United Majestic RV Resorts has acquired another 7 acres to complete the 30-acre RV resort with majestic oaks one block east of the Mississippi Coast Coliseum and just west of the former Broadwater Hotel property, near Brady Drive .

“We are in the process of designing and ultimately building an RV Resort with no comparison in the southeast,” said Marques Thomas, chief operating officer of United Majestic RV Resorts. It will have a unique pool and several other water amenities, he said, along with a clubhouse and activities for children.

Ship Island Excursions starts passenger service to the barrier island and Fort Massachusetts on March 17 from a new ticket office and boat dock in Gulfport Harbor. Excursions from Biloxi will be added starting May 11. The National Park Service will no longer allow visitors to fish off the pier on Ship Island because of safety issues, but fishing from the beach will be permitted.

Lighthouse Reflective Living for Seniors opened Feb. 28 on Ocean Springs Road, Ocean Springs.This locally-owned assisted living and memory care facility provides a variety of amenities for residents and tailors care to each individual, said co-owner Joe Cloyd. “We’re calling it reflective living,” he said.

The facility, which is 1.3 miles from Ocean Springs Hospital, has 60 suites with a bedroom, separate open concept living room with private kitchenette and private bathrooms. Lighthouse has accommodations for individuals and couples, and is pet friendly.

Work is beginning on an aviation museum in the former Rooms to Go furniture store on Pass Road in Gulfport. Francisco Gonzalez, president of the board of the John C. Robinson Brown Condor Association, said volunteers are cleaning and painting to get the building ready for its debut, which could come in October.

Shoppes at Washington Avenue announced the list of tenants for the will be opening in the complex near Ocean Springs. Coming in addition to Taco Sombrero, which was announced previously, are The Liquor House, Keesler Federal Credit Union, Pizza Hut, The Fudge and Gift Shack, DonutLICIOUS and Kolaches, Royal Nails Lounge and No Smoke About It Vape Shop.

Point Cadet Marina is getting an upgrade to its electrical system, and DNP of Biloxi was awarded a $228,000 contract by the city. Repairs will be made on the east side and service on the west side will be bumped to 200 amps to accommodate larger boats that come to Biloxi each year for the annual Mississippi Gulf Coast Billfish Classic. Work is expected to be complete in time for this year’s tournament June 3-9.

The Treen Report of local construction shows $89 million in building permits issued in South Mississippi in the last month and $118 million year to date. Among the permits since mid-February are:

  • $68 million for 3 new fabrication shops at Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula
  • $13 million for site and infrastructure support buildings
  • $4 million for renovation of Rouses Supermarket at 1444 E. Pass Road, Gulfport
  • $935,000 for Piercon project at 19000 28th St., Long Beach
  • $670,000 for new commercial at 100 Railroad St. East, Long Beach
  • $375,000 for renovation for Security Financial Services, 2596 Bienville Blvd., Ocean Springs
  • $350,000 for mini self storage at former Walmart building, 238 Pass Road, Biloxi
  • $300,000 for renovation of Four Mile Creek Baptist Church, 3801 Coventry Drive, Moss Point
  • $250,000 for maintenance building at 10397 Express Drive, Gulfport
  • $200,000 for renovation at Seashore Plaza, 2957 Bienville Blvd., Ocean Springs
  • $197,000 for new commercial for CJT at 4006 Bienville Blvd., Ocean Springs
  • $150,000 for interior and exterior renovation at 796 Vieux Marche, Biloxi
  • $119,000 for building and restroom at McLeod Waterpark, 8100 Texas Flat Road, Kiln
  • $68,000 for renovation at 189 Main St., Biloxi
  • $59,000 for renovation and addition for John Rey at 14489 Dedeaux Road, Gulfport
  • $50,000 for Subway restaurant at 12258 Shriners Blvd., Biloxi
  • $48,000 for renovation for Project Cheeseburger’s Shaggy’s Gulfport Beach, 1724 E. Beach Blvd., Gulfport
  • $35,000 to enlarge parking lot at Wheeler Family Dentistry, 14120 Dedeaux Road, Gulfport
  • $28,000 for renovation for Mamie St. Properties at 8950 Lorraine Road, Gulfport
  • $28,000 for renovation for Edgerly Enterprises, 1909 E. Pass Road, Gulfport
  • $28,000 for warehouse addition for 4228 Main St. Properties at 13061 Road D, Bay St. Louis
  • $26,000 for renovation of hair salon for Mamie St. Properties at 8950 Lorraine Road, Gulfport

Liquor licenses

  • High Proof Fine Wine and Spirits, 1888 Beach Blvd., Biloxi
  • Just 1 More Bar and Grill, 1512 U.S. 90, Gautier
  • Vibe 1, 2909 26th Ave. Gulfport
  • Lucy’s Retired Surfers Bar and Restaurant, 1775 Beach Blvd., Biloxi
  • Ton 80 Bar & Grill, 1512 U.S. 90, Gautier

Ribbon cuttings

  • March 8 — NextHome HomeFront, 6616 N. Washington Ave., Ocean Springs
  • March 12 — Domino’s RPM Pizza Store, 1681 Pass Road, Biloxi
  • March 13 — Floor Trader of Ocean Springs (new location), 6217 N. Washington Ave., Ocean Springs
  • March 19 — Coastal Roots Salon and Cologne & Cotton Boutique, 782 Water St., Biloxi
  • March 19 — Jackson County Industrial Trade Show, Jackson County Civic Center, 2902 Shortcut Road, Pascagoula
  • March 19 — Le’s Place Asian cuisine restaurant, 1614 Bienville Blvd., Ocean Springs
  • March 20 — Gulfeagle Supply, 3737 25th Ave., Gulfport
  • March 21 — Renaissance Community Loan Fund, 8917 Lorraine Road, Gulfport
  • March 21 — New location of Jackson County Literacy Council, 2804 Martin St., Pascagoula
  • March 22 — Starvision Technology, 13420 U.S. 49, Gulfport
  • March 28 — Walmart online grocery pickup, 2681 CT Switzer Drive, Biloxi
  • March 28 — Cajun Planters, 2730 Pass Road., Biloxi
  • March 28 — Encore Rehab, 3179 Mallett Road, D’Iberville
  • March 28 — Floor Trader of Ocean Springs new location, 6217 N. Washington Ave., Ocean Springs
  • March 28 — Connect Fellowship Church, 15521 Oaklane, Gulfport
  • March 29 — Rivers Psychotherapy, 411 Security Square, Gulfport

New businesses

  • ReDo Vendor Mall, 2394 Pass Road, Biloxi
  • About Time Antiques and Finds, 615 Pass Road, Gulfport


  • Southern Office Supply, 228 South Magnolia Drive, Wiggins
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.