The inside story on the Biloxi pitch for Ocean Expo

Mayor A.J. Holloway said this week that developers of Ocean Expo had been offered a “very friendly” proposal to locate in Biloxi before their decision to look at the I-10 and I-110 exchange, miles north of the Bay of Biloxi.

The Biloxi proposal, which included two configurations on Back Bay Boulevard, midway between Lee and Oak streets, had developer Chris Ferrara donating $14 million worth of waterfront land, seven years worth of property taxes, three years of flood insurance, traffic signals and crosswalks, and the possibility of taxpayer financing and as much as $250,000 to offset the cost of pumps and seawater filtration equipment.

In fact, the Biloxi site would have placed Ocean Expo seven minutes from more than 4,000 hotel rooms in east Biloxi, and would have been part of a privately financed boardwalk-themed development along Back Bay.

Said Holloway: “With incentives like this, it makes you wonder what D’Iberville has given away.”

To see the entire Biloxi proposal — which also included letters of support from the city’s eight casino resorts, two chambers of commerce and Coast Transit Authority — click here.

News and notes

Good Friday: Non-emergency municipal offices in Biloxi are closed today in observance of Good Friday.

Weekend preview: You can see breath-taking views of the Biloxi sunset, get a close-up look at dolphins and hear about the history of Biloxi while aboard the Biloxi Shrimping Trip. For a preview, click here. To see this weekend’s entire entertainment lineup, click here.

Council preview: The Biloxi City Council faces an agenda of more than a dozen measures when it meets Tuesday, including the possibility of a vote to rollback the longevity incentive pay for city employees from $15 a month to $6 a month for each month. To see the entire agenda, click here.

Webcasting: Architect Leigh Jaunsen speaks about the challenges of the Biloxi Lighthouse restoration, and updates progress on the Lighthouse Park and Visitors Center, and the new downtown library and civic center. To listen to the program, click here.

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