Moving Forward: Recommendations for Rebuilding East Biloxi

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Publication Date
08/03/06
Program
Engaged Communities
Community
Biloxi

REPORT DESCRIPTION

This report was formulated to present Biloxi Mayor A.J. Holloway and contributing sponsors with an action plan for rebuilding East Biloxi based on community input and the technical expertise of leading national consultants assembled by Living Cities. Another focus was to describe a future East Biloxi built on expanding casino-based tourism, providing broad housing choice in safe and attractive neighborhoods, renewing downtown, restoring the seafood industry, introducing new open spaces and strengthening public access to a great waterfront.

This report answers the following questions:

  • What are the underlying conditions for East Biloxi’s redevelopment?
  • What are East Biloxi residents’ rebuilding goals and concerns?
  • How can the future East Biloxi be built on respect for its defining sense of place and not unplanned, rampant development?

Report Partner: This report was produced by Living Cities and Goody Clancy.

REPORT FINDINGS

  • Existing Conditions – Pre-Katrina, East Biloxi was a floodplain home to approximately 8,500 residents in 3,500 households, approximately 51 percent of which were renters, comparable to a citywide percentage of 50 percent. About 80 percent of residential structures were damaged to some extent by the hurricane, with about 50 percent of all structures being “substantially damaged” or completely destroyed. Land-based gaming was prohibited by law – only barges and a select few hotels were allowed to support activities. The City of Biloxi’s Land Development Ordinance regulates land development, including gaming establishments, which they control more stringently than the state legislation.
  • Redevelopment Vision, Framework – Strong casino-related development, if rooted in Biloxi’s historic look and feel, could set the Biloxi gaming destination apart; an available workforce is the critical missing component. Affordable, moderate- and high-density housing for workers and a huge, central park are recommended for low-lying land west of the waterfront gaming district.
  • Recommendations – East Biloxi must create incentives for the tourist and gaming industry while carefully managing development to preserve and revive East Biloxi’s distinctive heritage.

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