When Joe and Richard Salloum built office buildings next to Edgewater Mall in the 1990s, they knew about Hurricane Camille's furor and were destined to learn about Hurricane Katrina's.|
"Katrina completely washed out the first floor of our waterfront Edgewater Professional Park," said Joe Salloum. "The roof was heavily damaged and had to be replaced. We gutted the inside and are moving along. We should be back by midsummer."
Edgewater Professional Park includes three office buildings, almost in a line. Hardest hit was a two-story, 10,000-square-foot office building at 2548 Beach Boulevard. It provided offices for businesses such as BellSouth.
The Salloums operate J&R Properties.
They have a second office building just to the north but Salloum said, "it wasn't damaged as badly. A Realty company has already moved into the second floor."
A third office building is located on nearby Marshall Road. It was completed just before the hurricane caused some water damage but Salloum said, "we're getting it back up." Salloum believes the design of local architect Frank Genzer kept the building structurally safe.
The Salloum brothers are Coast natives and graduates of Gulfport High School. They have been in the commercial real estate business for about 20 years.
Both brothers lost their homes on the beach in Gulfport to Katrina.
- GARY HOLLAND