"Blighted areas" focal point of Biloxi's ballpark plans - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

"Blighted areas" focal point of Biloxi's ballpark plans


We're learning a bit more this morning about what else may be built adjacent to a downtown Biloxi baseball stadium.  

An urban renewal proposal on the table at Tuesday's Biloxi City Council meeting says a hotel and a miniature golf course may be built between I-110 and Caillavet Street.  It also says Biloxi will hold a public hearing July 16 on the urban renewal proposal and a request for $21 million in city bonds to pay for much of this project.

The proposed ballpark will have up to 6,400 permanent seats.  The "Downtown Ballpark and Commercial Development Project" plan given to city council members says around the park will be a hotel with anywhere from 200-500 rooms, a collection of restaurants and shops, and even a miniature golf course.  All of this, the proposal says, will be built on 13.7 acres of downtown Biloxi, in an area the city must designate as "a slum or blighted area" that's in need of redevelopment.

According to the urban renewal plan, Biloxi will own the ballpark.  The entertainment venues around the baseball stadium will be privately owned.

The packet of information presented to the city council includes a draft letter from the chairman of the Biloxi Planning Commission.  That unsigned and undated letter says the ballpark "will strengthen our community's tax base, improve our downtown area, and provide job opportunities for our city." 

This information comes out just as the Steps Coalition prepares to hold a 10:00 news conference to voice concerns about the ballpark proposal.

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