Council to consider downtown property swap

The Magnolia Hotel, one of the oldest buildings in downtown Biloxi and home to the Mardi Gras Museum, could be getting more green space and the former Bombay Bicycle Club site would be more attractive for development if a proposed land swap is approved by the City Council on Tuesday.

The measure is one of nearly a dozen items on the agenda for the City Council meeting on Tuesday afternoon at 1:30 at City Hall.

Under the plan, the Copeland Estate would swap property immediately south of the Magnolia Hotel and pay the city $134,000 in exchange for a public parking lot north of the Bombay site, at the northeast corner of U.S. 90 and Reynoir Street, across from the Beau Rivage and a block away from the proposed baseball park.

“This is going to give us additional green space to allow for bigger events at the Mardi Gras Museum when it opens this summer,” said Biloxi Historical Administrator Bill Raymond. “Plus, it’s going to improve the curb appeal of the Magnolia Hotel for motorists passing on U.S. 90.”

Mayor A.J. Holloway hinted during his State of the City presentation last month that the city “was expecting exciting things from the Copeland folks with the old Bombay site.” The Bombay reference is to a popular restaurant and bar that had been located at the corner site years ago.

The Mardi Gras Museum, meantime, is scheduled to open this summer, after two floors of exhibits are constructed. “We’re hoping to be out for bids in the next 60 to 90 days for the construction of those exhibits. We’ve done the text panels, the mannequins are in, we have a good collection of costumes ready to display, and the Mardi Gras Museum gift shop, which opened in November, is seeing an increasing amount of traffic.”

See the complete agenda and supporting documents for the City Council


Weekend preview: Golf, community theater and music

The Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic continues at Fallen Oak¬†golf course¬†this weekend, plus you’ll find community theater at Biloxi Little Theater and a host of concerts on area stages. You’ll also find exhibits by folk artist Peter Jurich and photographer Alex North at the Biloxi Visitors Center.

Among the acts in town this weekend: the Average White Band and Family Stone at Hard Rock, Michael Bolton at the Beau Rivage and the veterans of “Saturday Night Live” at IP.

Read the overall weekend lineup



Development report: Exciting announcements

By Jerry Creel, Community Development Director

There are a number of exciting announcements to make this week. The most important was the announcement of the agreement between Biloxi Boardwalk and Warner Gaming and Entertainment.  Warner is an extremely well respected name in the gaming industry. This agreement will bring to fruition the renovation of the former  Heinz Building to house a resort destination to include casino, hotel(s), retail, and restaurant(s) venues along with a number of other resort amenities.

Also this week, with the approval of the city council for the subdividing of their property, the New Walmart Neighborhood Market on Pass Road is ready to move forward. The building plans review is complete and a building permit should be issued in the next few days. We are finalizing the building plans for the renovations to the former Kress Building for their entertainment venue. The interior demolition work is almost complete and the restoration should begin in the next few days.

This week the Development Review Committee reviewed and approved the plans for the new green entertainment space to be located south of Beach Blvd. across from the Grand Casino. The committee also reviewed a plan for site changes to the Treasure Bay Casino Resort property. In the next few days, the site work is expected to begin for the new minor league baseball stadium.  A number of preconstruction meetings have been held this week to finalize the preparation work. The framework for the new sanctuary for the First Pentecostal Church on Popp’s Ferry Road is nearing completion. And lastly, the department issued building permits for another eight new single family houses.


News and notes

Indian Nation: Biloxi Public Schools today kicked off its Indian Nation Friday and announced an upcoming month-long celebration of success. Read the announcement, see the photos from Indian Nation, watch the video and see how you can be involved by clicking here.

Play ball: The Challenger League, Biloxi Little League baseball and youth softball will all have opening ceremonies Saturday morning at the A.J. Holloway Sports Complex. The ceremonies begin at 9 a.m.; arrive early to get a good parking space.

Webcasting: Hear the issues du jour in this week’s City Desk webcast. To listen to the 10-minute program, click here.

DRC agenda: Three items are on next week’s Development Review Committee agenda. To see the lineup, click here.