Multiple Factors Boosting Investment in Biloxi Region GO Zone
It’s not only casinos that are boosting development in the Mississippi Gulf Coast GO Zone. Most industry experts agree that a number of factors including Katrina, will further growth in the real estate environment here. Besides Katrina, there is the ever growing expansion of casino development, as well as job opportunities generated by a growing defense industry in the region. Add to this, the exodus of baby boomers to warm weather areas in this region, and you have the beginnings of a real estate boom that could easily last for up to 5 years.
Also acting as an incentive to potential investors are the considerable GO Zone tax incentives offered by the State of Mississippi to invest in those areas along the Gulf Coast that were most effected by the hurricanes. This potent combination of an area with high growth potential with the possibility for appreciation and additional GO Zone tax incentives, are making investment in Mississippi a great alternative. In fact, according to the OFHEO.gov House Price Index report for the first quarter of 2007, Biloxi-Gulfport ranks 6th among the highest appreciating markets for year over year appreciation with an appreciation of 16%.
It’s not just the casino industry that’s spurring the success story of the Mississippi Gulf Coast GO Zone.
South Mississippi is home to the Mississippi Gulf Coast Aerospace Corridor that includes Pratt & Whitney, Lockheed Martin, Rolls Royce Naval Marine Inc., etc. There are aerospace parks, test ranges and military bases. This area is home to some of the most cutting edge research being conducted, including the building of the next generation of war ships, production of unmanned air craft, as well as the building of air craft, besides engine testing facilities.
With a reputation for affordable cost of business and elevated quality of living, the Mississippi Gulf Coast has been able to lure high profile aerospace projects. With these new GO Zone incentives, companies will only find it easier and more appealing to conduct business in this region.
The NASA Stennis Space Center has always been one of the biggest employers in the region. It is, now, also being developed as the launch site for space shuttles, taking civilians into space.
The Kessler Air Force Base has approximately 11,200 people on its rolls. These include at least 7600 military jobs. Besides this, at least 3,500 contract and local jobs are generated. Also adding to the employment pool, is the Kessler Medical Center which is the second largest Air Force medical center. The center is making rapid progress towards its position before the hurricanes. The number of staff which had dropped post-Katrina had increased to more than 1770 by July 2007. In addition, the facility has been boosted by an investment of more than $138 million, pumped in to repair the damage caused by Katrina, and to update existing equipment.
Besides the Aerospace Corridor, there is also Ingalls – the State’s largest private employer located on the Pascagoula River, positioned with an easy access to the Gulf of Mexico. Ingalls currently employs more than 10,000 people. The marine manufacturing company has a backlog of navy ships totaling up to 9 billion dollars. The yard here is reportedly in need of at least 400 more crafts people and 250 salaried jobs. The biggest problem facing employers here? Housing and insurance. According to Philip Teel, President of the Northrop Grumman Ship and Systems, a three year plan is under way to bring about solutions to labor scarcities. This section of the Gulf Coast still faces a major shortage of affordable housing 2 years after Katrina subsided. It’s not just the casino industry that’s generating a huge number of jobs, but also sharp growth in infrastructure, and the general service industry that is contributing to what many people believe is a real estate market that is on the verge of explosion.
For instance, lots in Bayside Park that were available for $1500 just 6 months ago, are now priced at $15,000. This is an area that offers investors terrific opportunities for solid return on investment.