GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - This week, Centennial Plaza is alive. Thousands of classic car owners must stop at the spacious Gulfport property to register for Cruisin' the Coast.
Once the cars leave and the front gate is locked, what happens to Centennial Plaza?
The property overlooking the Mississippi Sound still has a sign on its chain link fence announcing plans for a Holiday Inn to eventually be built there. Gulfport Mayor Billy Hewes admits that hotel project is on hold.
Hewes said through a text message the hotel development won't be revived until investors can get access to historic tax credits. The state legislature won't consider those credits until 2016.
Hewes said in his text it's very possible the Holiday Inn group and the city will have to wait until next April to find out whether a hotel proposed for Centennial Plaza will get the tax credits needed to begin construction.
Almost 15 months ago, Stewart Juneau and the LeTriomphe Property Group held a news conference on the steps of Gulfport City Hall and announced plans to build a $30 million Holiday Inn Resort on a parcel within the 57-acre property.
Juneau promised it would be a world class resort. The city said it would be Centennial Plaza's anchor tenant, but like Hewes said in May, the hotel is on hold.