Got $5 million? You can own a piece of island paradise on the Mississippi Coast | Real Estate
People dream of owning an island getaway and now it’s possible for someone who can afford the $5 million price tag for eight acres just off the Mississippi Coast.
That comes to $625,000 per acre for a piece of Deer Island — only a half mile from the Biloxi casinos yet accessible only by water.
For the location, waterfront land and wide-open views — “That’s a great price per acre,” said Brian Bolis, senior vice president of NAI Sawyer, a Gulfport real estate company.
He is the listing agent for the privately-owned property due south of Kuhn Street and Casino Row in East Biloxi.
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The state owns all but a few parcels of the undeveloped island that Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann called “a phenomenal pearl” in 2016, when he was secretary of state.
Bolis said two more properties next to this one also are privately owned.
The site for sale has “will serve letters” on file, for utilities to be provided under the water to the island, although Bolis said they probably will need to be updated.
Whether for personal or commercial use, the new owners could potentially build on the island, he said.
Visions for the island
A June 12, 1915, advertisement from The Daily Herald showed the Deer Island Amusement Corporation operated on the island and sponsored a ferry from Biloxi.
The Baker family lived on Deer Island for generations, gardening, hunting and raising animals on their land until Hurricane Camille destroyed their home in 1969.
In 1978, then-Biloxi Mayor Jerry O’Keefe proposed acquiring a ski lift to use as a gondola to carry people over the water to the island.
In 2012, a developer proposed building a resort called The Oasis at Deer Island, with a hotel, condos, event pavilion, restaurant and tiki bar.
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The city council rezoned the eight-acre site from agricultural to waterfront for the resort with the stipulation that a casino wasn’t part of the development.
But the resort never was built.
An ‘Ecological and economic treasure’
Mississippi used tidelands funds to buy all but about 17 acres of the island as public lands in 2002.
Hosemann is one of the state officials on the record for wanting to keep the island’s long stretches of white beaches undisturbed.
Drone footage used to promote the island as “an ecological and economic treasure” shows a canal down the middle of the island, part of which was filled with dredge from the boat channel.
The economic vision comes from families extending their stay in South Mississippi to spend a day on the island.
While the island is undeveloped, it constantly is changing from storms and restoration projects. The west side of Deer Island near Beau Rivage Resort & Casino was replenished with 2 million cubic yards of oyster shells and other material to restore it after Hurricane Katrina.
In 2021, the state allocated $8.5 million in BP oil spill funds for engineering and construction of shoreline protection from Deer Island to Katrina Key.