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Coast Skyline Changing, Especially in Biloxi
Photo Story by Keith Burton - GCN
10/22/06

Just over a year has gone by since Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Mississippi Coast destroying almost everything along the Beach highway. But construction of new high rise condominiums is moving rapidly, changing forever the look and feel of the area.

All along the beach in Biloxi there are towers rising. The huge concrete structures will easily take the most powerful storms. These are just a few of the towers that are rising from the sand. Many more are already approved in Biloxi. There are also several in Gulfport, two at the Biloxi/Gulfport boundary. However, most of the condo's will be built along Biloxi's beachfront as Biloxi has the water and sewer infrastructure in place to support the high rise buildings.

The debate over the changes these towers will bring to the Coast has largely disappeared as most people know that smaller wood frame structures and homes will likely not return in great numbers. That is also true for wood frame apartments. Most the condos currently under construction were planned prior to the hurricane and most of the units are already sold.

 Few businesses have returned to the Beach in Biloxi and Gulfport. But that does not include the Waffle House (photo below) in Gulfport and Long Beach. The company took advantage of the grandfather-clause build elevations and are nearly finished rebuilding their beachfront stores. Waffle House is the first chain restaurant company to rebuild on the beach. Vrazel's in Gulfport, and Mary Mahoney's in Biloxi have reopened, but those are local fine dining restaurants. There are no gas stations that have reopened, at this time. Gulfport's east beach businesses (photo lower right have yet to rebuild and its skyline remains a line of damaged signs in front of slabs.

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