New waterfront hotel could be coming to Biloxi - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

New waterfront hotel could be coming to Biloxi

By Krystal Allan – bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - A new waterfront hotel has cleared its first hurdle to getting off the ground Biloxi.  Henry Enterprises Incorporated is the company behind the project.  Joel Blackledge, the company's attorney, answered question on behalf of his client during Tuesday's council meeting in Biloxi.

Among those voicing their support for the plan is church treasurer, Chevis Swetman.  Swetman says the church is ready to sell the property and see a new project get going on the land.

 "We're excited to see something happen on the East end of Biloxi," says Swetman.

Plans call for an upscale four story, 122 room hotel.  It will sit on a little more than 20 acres.  A right turning lane will also be added to help relieve traffic.

During the meeting, however, there was one concern that made its way before the council.

"I'm for development, but I'm against anything that will destroy the beauty and the nature of what we have here," says Cynthia McEldowney.

Most of the concern centered on preserving the remaining oaks on the property.  Blackledge addressed the issue before the council.

"Our layout of the property allows for very minimal devastation of the oak trees. I think two maybe three oak tress are being looked at to be removed," Blackledge says.

City Arborist Eric Nolan tried to allay fears over the oaks being removed. He explained he'd been working with the company throughout the planning stages. He says the two, possibly three trees being removed have existing structural problems.

"One of the trees has a large crack in the main stem. When you look at them in that sense, they wouldn't be an asset to the property when they're done," says Nolan.

As it pertains to the look and style of the building, the council said any future plans must blend in with the character of the community. Before the company can receive a building permit, Community Development Director Jerry Creel says the plans must be approved by the city's Architectural and Historical Review Commission.

Blackledge says the company isn't certain right now whether the new hotel will be part of a chain.

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