White House Hotel owner asks Biloxi for more time | News
BILOXI, MS (WLOX)- The owner of the historic White House Hotel has asked the city for more time. J. Love told the Biloxi City Council on Tuesday he needs another 60 days to market the property and bring it into code compliance.
The aging hotel was recently added to the city's list of blighted properties. The owner was given several choices: Demolish the structure, renovate it to meet city codes or sell it to a developer who will.
Owner J. Love is pursuing option three, working with a real estate firm that specializes in marketing historic properties.
"His job is to go out and essentially use his contacts and canvas the national array of developers who might be interested in developing it. And hopefully find somebody who's interested in coming in and developing it," Love told the city council.
The city's chief administrator urged the council to grant more time. David Stahling was involved in earlier efforts to restore the White House to its glory days. He reminded council it's the last of Biloxi's flagship hotels.
"There was about four of them built back in the early 20s. The Edgewater, the Tivoli, the Buena Vista and this one, the White House. So, we need some time to try and bring this project back," he said.
Though the owner asked for another 60 days, the council granted just 30 days.
Councilman Clark Griffith said it feels like the city council is getting "put in a corner." He told the owner time is running out.
"Everybody is going to say, the Biloxi City Council is going to tear down the White House. The White House has had 30 years plus to come back. And it's had all kinds of problems. David, I hear what you're saying. But we've got from now until July. And in July we're going to make a decision," said Councilman Griffith.
The city council wants another progress report in 30 days.
Biloxi Community Development Director Jerry Creel said he's okay with the 30 day extension. In the short term, he'd like to see a new fence around the property and have the owner enclose the western end of the building.
Copyright 2012 WLOX. All rights reserved.
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