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tombarnes

Gulfport

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This report from the Gulf Coast News is somewhat disturbing. Gulfport needs to get its worries with the MDOT behind it so the task of rebuilding can begin.

Gulf Coast News

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Thanks for sharing that updated news Tom. It's sad, but it is the Gulf Coast. I hope things will pick-up soon.

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An editorial in the Sun Herald reflects upon the fundamental differences between Biloxi and Gulfport. Mr. Warr must surely have some sort of plan in store for Gulfport.

The Sun Herald- Stan Tiner

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Former Gulfport Grand Oasis Casino to be Renamed the Island View Resort

The former Grand Oasis Casino Resort in Gulfport will reopen this fall with a (not so) new name...the Island View Resort. It's an odd choice, given that the former Grand Casino in Biloxi was known as the Islandview Tower. That building was demolished in May, but the newer Bayview Tower will reopen as the Grand in August (or possibly earlier). Further expansion and new restaurants are scheduled for March, 2007. It is still not known what will happen to the second (taller and older) tower in Gulfport. Like its counterpart in Biloxi, it suffered heavy damage from Katrina. The casino has no connection with Harrah's.

RGT Online- Press Release

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I think Downtown Gulfport will come back, but, we may see a shift of "Downtown" Gulfport, as we know it, to Hwy 49 and I-10, which wouldn't be a bad thing, IMO. They should take the present Downtown and turn it into a entertainment district...I really think this would thrive. Move the business sector to close to I-10.

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You make a very good point. It is likely that the downtown area will become much more focused upon entertainment. Many will decry the inevitable sell-off of land for high-rise condos. I am not thrilled to see this happen, but I do think it will. As far as building businesses near the highway, I'd rather see a pedestrian friendly district built up there as well. I wonder if the two are mutually exclusive?

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That is a good point, Sean. I had read and heard about more of an entertainment focused downtown in Gulfport, but I hadn't really thought about the business sector.

And Tom, I agree with you about seeing a pedestrian friendly area built in along with a new business dedicated area for the city. I think that would be something that would serve the city well in the future, and would be another amenity for residents and tourists alike. :thumbsup:

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The FAA is paying to buy out or soundproof over 1000 houses near the airport. I wasn't aware of this sort of program before now. I had always thought that if one lived near an airport, well, one gets to hear jet noise.

The Sun Herald

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Island View Casino/Hotel to Open Monday

One bright thing on the horizon for Gulfport is the reopening of the former Grand Casino as the Island View Hotel and Casino on Monday. While work on the building won't be complete until next January, much of the lobby and public space in the hotel has been retrofitted into a casino. New public space and restaurants will replace this as well.

The Sun Herald

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Emeril Will Develop Restaurant at the Island View Casino

Celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse will develop a New Orleans Fish House at the Island View Casino hotel next spring. I hadn't known that Emeril's wife was from Gulfport and that they had built a house on the Coast. I have not been to any of his restaurants recently, but have always enjoyed visiting his namesake restaurant in New Orleans. I hope this will be a successful venture.

The Sun Herald

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Preliminary Plans for Jones Park Unveiled

Preliminary design schemes were discussed today at a public heraing to shape the future of Jones Park. Righ on the downtown waterfront, Jones Park is crucial to the redevelopment of the city. The design team will return in about two months with revised proposals. Getting Jones Park redeveloped will be a good first step for the city.

WLOX Channel 13 News

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Smart Code Likely to be Adopted

The Smart Code planning method is likely to receive official approval in Gulfport and Pass Christian. This could happen very quickly. I'll post more news on this as it happens. Gulfport native Jeff Bounds has abandoned his lucrative engineering job in Massachusetts to assist communities on the Coast with the adoption of the Smart Code.

The Sun Herald

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Former Veteran's Administration Hospital Property to be Developed By the City

Some time this summer, the last of the red tape surrounding the former VA hospital in Gulfport will be removed and the property will be transferred to the City of Gulfport. It is certain that the propertry will no longer be a hospital, but the certainty stops there. Many in the city would like to see the property developed with multi-use housing/commercial/hotels/restaurants etc.. While I would prefer to see the main building of the old hospital renovated, it is unlikely that this will happen. I'm suspicious of the cost estimate- upwards of $50m, but it just might be about that much to save the building. Many of the ancillary buildings on the site are not worth saving and will likely be gone before too long. What is most important for this site is that it should be developed with great care- not handed to the first developer with a fistful of cash. I trust that the city has this in mind as well. This is indeed one of the best sites for development of the entire coast and it must not be wasted.

The Sun Herald

More from last month's Gulf Coast News .

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From yesterday's Sun Herald

http://www.sunherald.com/mld/sunherald/16624728.htm

I think the outcome of this project is critical to the development of downtown Gulfport - As I understand the plans, there will be a raised, interstate grade road right through the middle of downtown - Perhaps I am ill informed, but I cannot see how this "Canal Road Connector" would do anything but thwart any future development in the immediate area - Aren't other cities around the country (ie - Seattle and Providence, RI) doing away with such roads? Someone please explain

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It goes without saying that the needs of the Port of Gulfport may trump the needs of those who live there. I would prefer not to see this sort of road built. The plans for Gulfport have been clouded in a briny haze since Katrina. The biggest question is whether or not the port can coexist with tourism and housing. I think it can, but good planning is essential. As you have noted, most progressive sities are doing away with this sort of road nowadays.

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http://www.sunherald.com/mld/sunherald/16636609.htm

It appears Mr. Brown is passing the buck on this one - I agree that the "needs" of the Port of Gulfport are important not only to South MS, but to the entire region - I do not agree, however, that one (MDOT) should cast a blind eye to the immediate impact it would have on the area - Yes, a straight line from the I-10 / US49 junction would be the most efficient - But if that were the only consideration in such situations, the US65/US84 bridge in Natchez, for example, may have ended up much closer to downtown

Am I overestimating the potential damage here?

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You are not overstating the potential damage. MDOT loves to think in straight lines. Woggles and cheese holes would be lost on them entirely. In all seriousness, however, I have not seen evidence that MDOT is thinking much beyond their own drawing boards. The needs of a community appear to be meaningless to them. I'd still like to know who is working on the master plan for Gulfport.

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Sorry to get off topic but did Copa buy out the Grand casino building?

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The Copa people did purchase the former Grand Casino. They have reopened the former Oasis Hotel as the Island View Casino. The original Grand Casino tower still sits unresurrected, though the new owners plan to do something with the property eventually. Their immediate plans call for expanded restaurant space on the site of the former lazy river swimming pool complex. It remains to be seen whether or not the original hotel tower will be retained or simply demolished and replaced with something else.

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Earlier, I misstated the projected route for Phase II of the Canal Road Connector would be from 28th street to US90 via US49/25th ave - I was wrong, as it's intended for 30th avenue, through the western portion of downtown G-port

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City Likely to Hire Master Developer for VA Hospital Site

The City of Gulfport is likely to hire a master developer for the large site of the old VA Hospital. I'd like to see the key buildings on the site retained, but this probably won't happen. It will be interesting to see what plans emerge for the site. This is crucial for the rebuilding of the city, so I hope they do it well.

The Sun Herald

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Racquet Club Apratments to be Replaced With New 426 Unit Complex

The remains of the former Racquet Club Apartments in Gulfport are to be replaced with a new apartment complex with 426 units called the Columns at Gulfport The buildings will be about 3 to 4 stories tall and the complex will include an extensive pool and gardens. I would have preferred a more urban design, but this should be a substantial improvement over what was there before. Housing of almost any type is more than welcome anywhere on the Coast.

WLOX Challenl 13 News video included

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Rumors About the Markham Are Untrue

Recent rumors about the possible implosion of the Markham building are not true, according to the owners of the building. It is likely that the building may be converted to condominium use. Demolition of one of the anchors of downtown Gulfport is a singularly bad idea. The building is structurally sound and much of the interior woodwork is salvageable. There is no reason it shouldn't continue to contribute to downtown Gulfport.

The Sun Herald

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Condos Planned for Downtown Gulfport

A condominium complex is planned for downtown Gulfport. While I am pleased to see development in the area, I can't say that I'm excited about this development. The buildings appear to be undistinguished. Their suburban scale won't help much either. What's so difficult about building with retail on the lower floor(s) of a new building? It will be good to attract residents downtown again, but there needs to be more comprehensive planning. This complex does not suggest that it will be a great addition to the streetscape.

The Sun Herald

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Master Planner for VA Site to be Selected Soon

The enormous tract of beachfront property in Gulfport wich currently houses the former Veteran's Administration hospital will soon be in the hands of a master developer. It is assumed that the site will be redeveloped to include housing, hotels and restaurants, among other amenities. I hope that the group which is chosen will develop the site with some amount of originality. I'd hate to see a faux-South Beach or tinny jazzfest clone. The possibilities for this site are unlimited. May Gulfport choose carefully.

The Sun Herald

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