Harrison County

A seafood market on Point Cadet is just part of the plan to restore East Biloxi

Improvements to the Point Cadet Marina in Biloxi will be made with $3 million in RESTORE Act funds.
Improvements to the Point Cadet Marina in Biloxi will be made with $3 million in RESTORE Act funds. jmitchell@sunherald.com

Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich has big plans to restore part of East Biloxi.

At Point Cadet, he wants to create a seafood marketplace along with a Mississippi Oyster Aquaculture and Conservation Center.

Gilich envisions a public off-loading dock for oysters there and an expanded marina where larger boats could take part in deep sea fishing tournaments.

The land is owned by the city, state and the Institutions of Higher Learning and University of Southern Mississippi. At the first meeting of the Biloxi Council at 6 p.m. Tuesday, the same day the state Legislature will convene in Jackson, Gilich will propose asking the legislators to authorize these plans and allow the city to use revenue bonds to build the facilities. He also wants to use rents from the Point Cadet Leasing Fund to finance the project.

“What I’m hoping we can do is have some joint planning between the city and our public and private partners on the state and local levels, and transform this attractive yet vacant piece of property into something really special, something with vitality that is tied to our past and to our future,” Gilich said last month.

Walter Bolton Associates, a Biloxi company that has been hired for several design projects for the city since Gilich took office, has submitted a design contract for this project for preliminary designs, conceptual plans, surveying and permitting. The cost for the work is not to exceed $72,000 and the resolution says it will be funded by a recent grant for $75,000 from Department of Marine Resources for the design.

Gilich appointed Gerald Blessey, who had some of these same plans when he was mayor of the city, to take the lead on planning the projects.

Much of the Point Cadet waterfront north of U.S. 90 has been vacant since Hurricane Katrina 12 years ago. Last year, the Biloxi Council approved Gilich’s Biloxi Waterfront Plan that calls for Waterfront Design Standards for all new waterfront development, for boardwalks to connect the waterfront and to build piers out over the water.

The city and Harrison County have started work on the West Biloxi Boardwalk along Restaurant Row.