Biloxi begins demolition of Katrina-blighted buildings

BILOXI -- The landscape of Biloxi is changing as blighted buildings scarred by Hurricane Katrina are demolished.

The former Surfside movie theater at 1762 Beach Blvd., on the Biloxi Strip, has a hole in its side. Crews were tearing it down Tuesday while at the City Council meeting, community development director Jerry Creel said three more commercial buildings in East Biloxi are coming down.

The distinctive blue Hancock Bank building on Beach Boulevard, across from Hard Rock and Beau Rivage casinos, will be demolished in February and the slab removed. Just to the northwest, the old Buddy Gunn building, which housed the Catholic Diocese offices before Katrina, will soon be just a memory. “It’s in very bad shape,” Creel said.

Michael Cavanaugh represents the Copeland estate, which now owns the building at 120 Reynoir St. He said the owners have pulled the permit to demolish it. He anticipates work will begin this week or early next week.

The old Fayard’s Seafood Co. building at 732 Bayview Ave. between the IP and Boomtown casinos also will be demolished.

But Cavanaugh said the former Fountain Square restaurant behind Hancock Bank on Rue Magnolia will be repaired. “We’re going to save that building,” he said.

Senate Bill 3204, passed specifically for Biloxi, allows the city to go after Hurricane Katrina-damaged buildings that still aren’t habitable.

Read the complete story at