Condo tower on Biloxi beach turning into hotel

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - By David Elliott – bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - R.W. Development has decided to shift gears with a condo tower on the beach in Biloxi.

In 2008, developer Ray Wooldridge built the tower as part of an extravagant plan that included a casino. The project was called South Beach. But the Mississippi Gaming Commission denied Wooldridge's plans for a casino, and the tower sat on the beach unfinished. That is, until now.

"It's about time we finished this building that was originally intended to be a luxury condo tower," Wooldridge said. "After looking at the market, we decided to would be a perfect boutique hotel."

The South Beach Hotel and Suites, Biloxi will open on October first. It will be the only non-casino hotel property in Harrison County, south of Highway 90.

The hotel will feature 100 rooms and create up to 50 jobs. Wooldridge researched the condo market and the economy.

He found, "Condos are over sold with too much supply all along the Gulf Coast. We'll wait for that market to come back then turn this into a cond-hotel, where you have ownership and a hotel."

Wooldridge has not given up on the casino concept. R.W. Development owns plenty of land around Veterans Avenue. He also said plans are in the works to build towers on the east side, west side and across Highway 90 with a brand hotel.

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