Kirk Ladner traveled around the country, studying marinas with an eye toward what his family would build in Lakeshore, a Hancock County community west of Waveland. Several years ago, the $2 million Islander Marina opened with both wet and dry dock facilities.|
Big boats and small, yachts, catamarans, the Ladner marina lured them all.
"Why Lakeshore? It's the perfect location for fishing," Ladner said.
Lakeshore was also affordable waterfront.
The Ladners - Terryl, the dad, along with his four sons, Kirk, Keith, Kelly and Kelly - were proud of their first-class marina, complete with electric hook-ups, clean-outs and attractive decking as well as a giant building for dry storage.
Kirk Ladner then honed in on bigger Lakeshore development ideas and approached the county about casino permits. In May 2005 he went to the Planning Commission and switched to condominiums and got quicker approval on that.
Three months later, Katrina bashed the Ladners' marina. Much is gone, though some of the slips can be refurbished. The dry dock building, well, they found evidence of some of those boats three miles north in the marsh.
"The future is to rebuild, even bigger, about four times as big," said Ladner, who lives in Diamondhead.
"We can see that the growth here is going to happen and we're going to need bigger marina facilities. We will get started as soon as we have plans that will coincide with other development in area."
For Lakeshore, that includes several condominiums and a casino, the Silver Slipper, on the table before Katrina.