On Monday night, developers unveiled their plans for a billion dollar condo casino resort in Biloxi. If approved, the Tivoli would sit on 30 acres of land between Highway 90 and Howard Avenue. However, a zoning change would be required.
Members of Biloxi's Planning Commission heard from project leaders Monday night, as well as city residents.
Developers began the meeting with renditions of what the billion dollar project would look like and benefits it would bring to the area, including $21 million a year for the city and Biloxi School System.
"To make it brief, I just have one word for this project...wow!" said resident and nearby business owner Bobby Mahoney.
Supporters of the project spoke first.
"I want to speak in favor of it basically because, as stated by Mr. O'Keefe, we know this property down in this area has basically changed, and the cost of trying to build residential areas on the beach is astronomical," said James Crowell.
For the project to come alive, the old Tivoli site would have to be rezoned waterfront. Some residents questioned the legality of the project. One Kuhn Street woman was adamantly opposed to the project, which she said would be right in her backyard.
"I'm disappointed about it. Y'all are about to give me a heart attack. I won't be able to sleep at night with all the construction in the neighborhood," she said.
A handful of state representatives were at the meeting. Roger Ishee felt compelled to remind the planning commission that the state capitol would not take kindly to a project that is linked to the sand beach.
"If that picture had been presented before we voted on onshore gaming, we would have lost," Rep. Ishee said.
Dr. Larry Drawdy read a letter on behalf of Retired Lieutenant General Clark Griffith, who is chairman of the Reviving the Renaissance Committee. Griffith says the committee is against the project.
The planning commission will make a recommendation to the city council.