Today, the wheels were put in motion toward approving the project. Today marks the first step in what could be a major facelift in downtown Biloxi. The city's Development Review Committee (D.R.C.), heard from a designer with a big plan. Don Parker, a designer for Parker Design and Management, says, "We're taking the old courthouse and converting it to commercial and residential." The two story courthouse will be made into commercial suites and three floors of apartments or condos will be built on top of them. Jerry Creel, the Biloxi Community Development Director, says, "We think it could essentially be an oasis in the middle of downtown Biloxi and we're going to work with them any way we can to make it happen." The building has been vacant for ten years, ever since the federal courthouse moved to its current location in downtown Gulfport, and developers say the timing is perfect with all the development happening in downtown Biloxi.
Parker also says, "A lot of things are happening. They’re talking about doing something at the Vieux Marche and obviously the baseball stadium, and they’re talking about everything being walking distance. There won’t be a lot of parking at the stadium, so people will be parking all over the area." Creel also says, "We've had resort hotels approach us. We've had assisted living approach us. We've had restaurants approach us, and it was all triggered by the excitement around the new baseball stadium." The D.R.C. plans to sign off on the project by Friday. Parker expects to break ground in the next year on the mixed-use project that Biloxi officials say will make the historic district even more inviting. As proposed, the five story structure will be able to fit as many as 90 residential and commercial units.