Biloxi eyes $150 million convention center complex
BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - There’s a new opportunity to transform the old Tullis property in east Biloxi into a $150 million convention center.
The Gilich administration wants Biloxi to partner with BBR Biloxi on a feasibility study. The study’s objective is to determine whether an east Biloxi convention center complex can be a catalyst for new jobs and new revenue. And one of the potential convention center sites mentioned is the old Tullis Toledano Manor location.
Tuesday’s city council agenda contains a resolution that could help Biloxi take the next step in its quest to become “a major national and international tourism destination."
The wording in the resolution starts with a study to look at the merits of building a convention complex closer to the city’s cluster of casinos. It ends with a proposed $150 million infusion of capital that creates convention space, retail opportunities and more between downtown Biloxi and Point Cadet. One of sites mentioned in the resolution is on the old Tullis property, right next door to the Ohr O’Keefe Museum of Art.
The resolution says this feasibility study would be a partnership between the city and a development group called BBR Biloxi. By early next year, a final report would be presented to city leaders. It would analyze whether east Biloxi is the right place for a multi-million dollar convention center complex.
It would also determine the merits of Biloxi selling the Tullis property. The resolution indicates BBR Biloxi would acquire the Tullis land to “promote and foster the development and improvement of the community.” The resolution on Tuesday’s agenda says the sale would be at price that’s 20% above fair market value.
Tullis was once home to the Tullis Toledano Manor. The city once rented that facility for weddings and other parties. But then, Katrina hit, Grand Casino’s barge blew through the property, and the historic home disappeared. Until now, Biloxi never found a way to redevelop the land.
The city council will be asked to approve the joint feasibility analysis at next Tuesday’s meeting.
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