Future Of Damaged Tullis Property Being Debated

Robin Krohn David came up with a solution.  The trees that once shaded Tullis Manor were an attraction to her. So was the Ohr Museum next door. And the schooners across the street. The seafood musem director said they were all reasons why she proposed anchoring the new Maritime and Seafood Industry Museum building near Biloxi's tricentennial park.

"It's just a perfect spot and a location for the rebuild," Krohn David said before a presentation to the Biloxi City Council.

After that meeting, some people questioned whether there a better use for the city's waterfront lot. The suggestion came up that a casino development should somehow blend into the oak filled property. That's news to the city's mayor.

"I haven't had anyone approach me whatsoever anywhere about anything for that piece of property," Mayor A.J. Holloway said.

Councilman George Lawrence has heard the casino gossip. He believes when it comes to the Tullis lot, heritage should mean more than greed.

"If we can preserve anything and bring it forward for future generations, how much more valuable can that be? It isn't all about money sometimes," said Lawrence.

The councilman for the east Biloxi area realizes Grand Casino's parent company owns the land just east of the Tullis property. He knows a future casino developer controls the old Tivoli property just west of Tricentennial Park.

Right now, that land is not zoned for casinos. However, if both those properties get permission to be developed, the new Ohr O'Keefe Museum will be sandwiched in between. And if Councilman Lawrence gets his way, the relocated seafood museum will be a tasty part of that sandwich as well.

"I think we as a people need to bring back something that we lost so much of. And to me, this is a great way to preserve it," he said.

However, the mayor said nobody should jump the gun on how Tullis should be developed.

"I don't think that the time is right - right now. I think we need to wait a little while and see what happens," said Holloway.

Biloxi councilmen heard the seafood museum's relocation request on Tuesday. Next month, the city will get a better idea about what Harrah's plans are for its Grand Casino location. The company is supposed to unveil expansion plans. According to Mayor Holloway, Harrah's owns 80 acres of land around its east Biloxi resort.