BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The hotel business in Biloxi hasn't been the same since Hurricane Katrina swept through the Gulf Coast, but a local developer wants to change that by bringing a new hotel to Biloxi's beach front.
Barrington Development is the same development team that helped restore and reopen the White House Hotel, and they're at it again.
"With these new developments coming back, it's coming back to Biloxi and rebuilding something that everybody wants to drive down the beach and look at," Vice President of Barrington Development Cono Caranna said.
The development company plans to bring the hotel industry back to the south side of Highway 90, starting with a brand new Comfort Inn Suites.
"We were 3,000 rooms below what it was pre-Katrina, so as we build back more rooms, it allows more space for tourists to come back into the area," Caranna said.
Right now, the vacant space on the east side of Sea Breeze Condominium looks like nothing, but Caranna says the three acre property will soon hold a four story hotel with 110 rooms overlooking the beach.
Nearby business owners say this is one more step in getting the City of Biloxi back to what it used to be.
"We get so much walking traffic from people staying, especially next door at South Beach and walking up and then going to the beach. It's very exciting. Especially for anyone in our business, whether it be retail or jet skis, it's bringing more families to the Coast," Manager of Sharkheads Brent Piertotich said.
"It's really nice, and it helps the whole economy out. It helps the restaurants out, the hotels out, the people working in those industries go out. It'll really turn over a lot of money in the economy," Biloxi's Chief Administrative Officer David Nichols said.
The city's development doesn't stop with this hotel project. Biloxi officials say to be on the lookout for a number of other developments in the future.
Caranna says they expect to find out if they've been approved for the hotel project within the next 30 to 60 days. If approved, they hope to open the doors of the new hotel by the summer of 2015.