|By Mary Perez, The Sun Herald, Biloxi,
Miss.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
July 23, 2012--BILOXI -- Officials at Hard Rock Casino Biloxi are considering building a 12-story hotel tower and on Tuesday will ask the city for a tourism incentive to make the project more likely.
Biloxi extends the incentive to tourism businesses and agrees to forgo ad valorem tax on the improvement value for up to seven years. The incentive doesn't cover school or county taxes.
Hard Rock proposes a $32.5 million hotel tower with 154 rooms, including 14 suites. It would be built west of the swimming pool and south of U.S. 90, just west of the lobby and iconic guitar sign. An enclosed walkway would connect it to the existing hotel.
The current hotel is full most nights in season, Duncan McKenzie, general manager of Hard Rock Biloxi, told the Development Review Committee in January. He said before construction can start, the investment has to make sense to the owner group.
Also on Tuesday, the Biloxi Council will hear owners' plans for eight properties found to be blighted under a law that gives the city authority to force owners of commercial properties damaged during Hurricane Katrina seven years ago to repair or demolish the properties.
The law expires at the end of September. Jerry Creel, Biloxi's community development director, told the council he will return in early August with a final list of properties that haven't been resolved.
The meeting is at 1:30 p.m. at City Hall on Lameuse Street.
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