The City of Waveland may be embarking on the comeback of its beachfront commercial district, thanks to a proposed mixed-use development.
- by Maurice Singleton
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A proposed condominium development planned for the corner of Coleman Avenue and North Beach Boulevard in Waveland has excitement building among officials and the public alike. The development plans come before the city’s Planning and Zoning commission on Monday, November 14, includes nine condominium units, a raised swimming pool, and an indoor-outdoor restaurant and bar.
The development is expected to be the long-awaited catalyst that Waveland needs to spur other development on Coleman Avenue, which would bring the city back to its pre-Katrina level of business activity.
“A lot of people are excited about it,” said Waveland Mayor Mike Smith. “It’s been a long time since there’s been a restaurant on the south end of Coleman Avenue. It’s exciting to see this level of investment for Waveland and Coleman Avenue.”
The proposed project will be named The Waveland, and it is planned to face the gulf. The indoor-outdoor restaurant and bar are planned to maximize weather conditions during the spring, summer and fall seasons. The restaurant is expected to feature a Caribbean-style menu.
“The name itself is exciting,” said Smith. “It puts a spotlight on the city. A lot of people believe this will be a catalyst for more development on Coleman Avenue.”
The preliminary design includes four 3 bedroom/2 bath units (1,340 square feet), four 2 bedroom/2 bath units (771 square feet), and one 1-bedroom unit (480 square feet). The design is planned to be built around a live oak tree in the center of the property.
“This place just runs through my veins,” said the project's developer, Shane Bernard. “As a kid, we spent every weekend in Waveland. Waveland was the place to be.”
Bernard said that he realizes that there is some risk to being the first development on Coleman Avenue since the Business Center was completed in 2012. However, he is encouraged by the prospects of more businesses to follow.
“Like anything else, once you can prove that it can be done and people come to it, then others are going to want to take that risk,” Bernard explained. "I believe it will be a catalyst.
“We would like to set ourselves apart,” Bernard added. “We have the chance to be the first condo development on the beach in Hancock County. That's a big deal.”
Bernard has invited the community to hear his proposal before Planning and Zoning on Monday, November 14. The proposed project will need some variances to make the plan viable.
“I really don’t anticipate any hurdles, not of any magnitude,” said Mayor Smith. “As outgoing mayor, it’s great to see that Coleman Avenue is coming back.”
With approval from Planning and Zoning and the Board of Aldermen, groundbreaking for The Waveland is anticipated to take place as early as late spring.
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