Developers plan to build luxury hotel on old Tullis Manor site, restore Biloxi history
BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - Developers are making plans to restore and preserve pieces of Biloxi history alongside a new 200 room hotel on the site of the old Tullis Manor.
Tuesday, the Biloxi City Council will consider an agreement giving the developers an option to buy the city-owned land on Highway 90 between the Ohr O’Keefe Museum of Art and Harrah’s.
Tullis Gardens would be a luxury ten-story hotel with penthouses and suites along with a rooftop restaurant that will offer a panoramic view of the coast. The $140 million project includes recreating a piece of Biloxi history lost in Hurricane Katrina, the Tullis-Toledano Manor. The exterior of the new Tullis would be a replica of the antebellum home and will be used for events like weddings, reunions and parties.
Developers promise they will work around every protected oak tree on the property.
“We will save every live oak tree,” Former Biloxi mayor, Gerald Blessey said. “Every protected tree is being saved. The design winds around the trees, it doesn’t take them. There will be formal gardens and produce gardens throughout the rest of the grounds so the public will be able to walk and enjoy the gardens, the Shoofly in behind the Tullis Manor and so forth.”
Blessey represents the developers. He stresses the $140 million project is in the preliminary planning stages, but says the vision pays tribute to the past and builds for the future.
“It recaptures some of the old Biloxi hotel architectural themes, it’s really patterned after the old Buena Vista - you know your notice on the top,” Blessey said. “There’s a deck we have a nice five star restaurant on the deck like Buena Vista had.”
The city of Biloxi owns the property and has explored many possible developments over the years
“It’s part of the ongoing revival for the city of Biloxi,” Blessey said. “You have a lot of attraction already. This is going to add a really historically, authentic new hotel.”
The developers will pay the city $50 thousand for the option to develop. Once plans are finalized the city will sell the property for at least $2.25 million.
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