BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Sharkheads is on course to set up shop once again. Hurricane Katrina clamped its teeth into the building, leaving the souvenir shop mortally wounded.
Now, more than five years later, it will be resurrected, due in part to Biloxi's tax abatement program. Ronnie Peritich is one of the owners.
"I just hope our Lord will let me live to see the day it's rebuild and open," Peritich said.
With the city's approval, new businesses would not have to pay city property taxes. As for existing businesses, they get the same tax break on improvements made to their buildings. Businesses would still have to pay school taxes.
City officials say the tax break could funnel money back to business owners for up to seven years.
"It's really a plus for any builder or developer trying to come back to the coastline," Community Development Director Jerry Creel said.
Businesses in selected districts, from the beachfront to Woolmarket off I-10, are eligible for the program. City Spokesman Vincent Creel said, in all, there are about 13 districts throughout the city.
Father and son duo, Ronnie and J.J. Peritich also own Souvenir City, a few blocks west of the Sharkheads' site. They say they're ready to get Sharkheads, a coast fixture since the 70s, back up and running.
"We're very excited. It's been a long-time coming," Ronnie Petritich said.
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