Interior demolition underway on old Santa Maria del Mar tower

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Interior demolition is underway on the old Santa Maria del Mar building located in downtown Biloxi. What's in store for the former Section 236 HUD elderly property? We spoke to the property management agency for the building to get some answers.

The old Santa Maria del Mar tower in downtown Biloxi was shutdown in 2005 due to damage brought on by Hurricane Katrina. Sun State's management president Craig Bounds says his agency, Sun States Management, manages the property. Right now crews are working to get it ready to be put on the market.

"They're removing old carpet, dry wall, cabinets, appliances, just basically stripping it down to the studs. We're trying to get it cleaned out. Get the building safe to where people could actually go up in it and look at it. Without it being a danger to them," said Bounds.

He says city leaders requested the building be cleaned out. But cleaning out this 13 story building is no easy task.

"The work gets a little harder as you go up in the stories because everything has to be done manually. There are no elevators in the building any longer," Bounds said.

Once this building is cleared out, a for sale sign will go up.

"I think it's suitable for a number of uses, a resort hotel, really just use your imagination. It could be pretty much anything," said Bounds.

Whatever the future holds for this tower Bounds is hopeful new life will be brought back into it.

Catholic Charities Housing Association of Biloxi owns the building and Catholic Diocese of Biloxi sponsors the building. The new Santa Maria del Mar building is located off Popps Ferry Road in Biloxi and opened last year.

Copyright 2014 WLOX. All rights reserved.