Biloxi mayor inks $1 million hotel deal

Biloxi mayor inks $1 million hotel deal

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Biloxi Mayor FoFo Gilich signed a $1 million deal Thursday that will bring a 100-room waterfront hotel project to the city.

"This is new era for economic development in Biloxi," Gilich said after he and City Attorney and Economic Development Counsel Gerald Blessey reviewed documents with hotel developers Hari Patel and Shashikant C. "Sam" Bhakta.

A Hilton Garden Inn will be built on 1.75 acres of land just east of the former Santa Maria Del Mar retirement home across the street from the Biloxi Small Craft Harbor. The hotel will be operated by Shivam of America.

"This project will produce at least 45 new jobs and 100 new hotel rooms on surplus city land that has been vacant since Katrina," Gilich said. "Although this project is the last to fall under the old city tax exemption policy, the developers agreed to the new policy on incentives: 50 percent of property tax for five years and a guarantee that the 45 jobs will be produced within two years. If not, the exemption ends and the prior two years' taxes must be paid. This project is a fine example of what we're doing to incent developers to put surplus city land back to work."

The site of the old Biloxi hospital has sat vacant since Hurricane Katrina.

The developers hope to break ground on the project in August and have the hotel open after the first of the year.

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