White House Hotel owner given another 30 days

Jay Love, owner of the White House Hotel property, told Biloxi City Council members that developers have been hesitant over what they consider a "risky" project in the current economy.
Jay Love, owner of the White House Hotel property, told Biloxi City Council members that developers have been hesitant over what they consider a "risky" project in the current economy.

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The owner of the historic White House Hotel has another 30 days to come up with a plan for improving the appearance of that eyesore property. This is the third extension the Biloxi City Council has granted in the past three months.

Owner Jay Love again pleaded with the city council for more time.  He's been busy courting potential developers for the landmark hotel. But developers say such a project is simply "too risky" right now.

Love is trying desperately to save the "treasured landmark" that's become a "neglected eyesore" in recent years. The owner told council members potential developers are hesitant.

"But in general, people felt like this was not the proper environment. The development was a little risky given the current economic environment and given kind of the location of the property," said Love.

One prospective developer said the White House location was too far away from "the action,"a reference to Biloxi's casinos.

At least two city council members said the time for talk has passed, it's time for some action. One even mentioned the word, demolition.

"You've got about 30 days to come back and say we're going to do this. Or my hand is going to go up to tear it down. I'll be that blunt about it, okay?" said Councilman Clark Griffith.

"We don't need these constant reminders of failed projects and things that just don't work in Biloxi," added Councilman Bill Stallworth.

Jay Love vowed he'll do all he can to save the landmark property.  While he continues to court developers, he'll also address the eyesore concerns.

"We also need to work on finding a way to improve the appearance of the property. So, what we've been doing is sort of refreshing quotes, to do what I call the "moth balling" of the property, to make sure there's no further deterioration," Love told the council.

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