Developer: Markham building to become 64 high-end apartments

Developer: Markham building to become 64 high-end apartments
Lubin announced his plans to restore the Markham building and build a casino near the Gulfport Harbor months ago. (Photo source: Chris Vignes)

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - The developer bringing life back to the historic Markham building in downtown Gulfport will turn the hurricane battered building into 64 apartments. Developer Robert Lubin said the figures he's come up with indicate the average rental price for an apartment in the Markham building will be $1,800.

Lubin's group did a market study to analyze the best way to bring the Markham back to life. They considered hotels and offices for that site, but the study ultimately determined the downtown area needs apartments. And the Markham site is the right place to build those rental dwellings.

Lubin told WLOX News the restoration project should begin in the first three months of next year. If there are no delays, the Markham should reopen in the fall of 2018.

Robert Lubin is the same developer who's investing in a casino project in Gulfport's harbor area. But before that project moves forward, Lubin needs about two more months to secure its financing.

Lubin recently had a closed door meeting with a handful of Gulfport's redevelopment commission members and three city council members. WLOX News has learned the meeting focused on a September 30 deadline Lubin has with Gulfport to prove he has the money he needs to build the casino.

That casino will be built on land adjacent to Jones Park and the Gulfport Small Craft Harbor. Financing for the casino comes from a program open to overseas investors.

When we talked with Lubin on the phone Wednesday, he admitted that program is set to expire. Lubin believes it will be renewed. And if it is, he fully expects to raise the $140 to 160 million he'll need to build a casino at the foot of downtown Gulfport.

He'll request an extension from the Gulfport City Council at next week's meeting.

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