D'IBERVILLE, MS (WLOX) - A unanimous vote Tuesday night by the D'Iberville City Council was also a celebrated one. After more than a decade of research and development, a new million-square-foot Galleria is coming to D'Iberville. Mayor Rusty Quave is thrilled with this major project and the tax revenue it will generate.
"We've got a piece of property out there that we draw $16,000 a year right now in ad valorem," Mayor Rusty Quave said. "We're going to get at least $600,000 a year the first seven years, and that will go to $2.5 million in sales tax."
He also says $12 million worth of secondary roads and $180 million in off ramps will be built with money from MDOT and the city's 20 year Tax Incentive Fund, or "TIF" bond.
"And we pay the debt service from the taxes generated from the project. If the project doesn't generate any more tax, the developer is on the line to pay the difference in the tax," Quave said.
Developer "CBL", "RAMCO" and Bob Mandal are the same ones who created the hugely successful Promenade. Longtime coast contractor Roy Anderson says this is that big-step forward the Gulf Coast needed.
"It's more diversity for our economy," Roy Anderson said. "It's a first class gaming project and entertainment facility. There's that much, the employment base at the end of the day, it's all about economic development."
Anderson says the Galleria will create at least 2,500 new jobs and even more construction jobs over the next several years and will bring the big city shopping experience home.
"This is going to be one of the first significant mall developments throughout the United States that's going to be right here in South Mississippi," Anderson said.
"It's a win-win situation for everybody," Quave said. "The city gets the needed roads and the off ramps from the interstate and the Gulf Coast gets a fine shopping facility, and it's just going to grow the whole market on the Gulf Coast."
Harrison County Schools are expected to get $750,000 in tax revenue each year from the Galleria, which should take three to four years to complete.
Even more growth is coming out of the Galleria project and proposed Ocean Expo nearby.
Kevin Coggin, Director of Coast Transit Authority, presented the council with CTA's final plans for a downtown transit hub that the council also unanimously approved. It will be in D'Ibverville's downtown French Market area near the visitor's center.
Architects Eley-Guild Hardy designed it to be an attractive, open air plaza with restrooms, waiting areas and lots of green space.
CTA is paying for the costs of the new D'Iberville transit hub with federal transportation funds with no cost to the city.