|By Lisa Monti, The Sun Herald, Biloxi,
Miss.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
May 12, 2010--Developers plan to build a "green" Holiday Inn at the Stennis Technology Park that could bring more business to the 26-acre site at the intersection of Interstate 10 and Mississippi 603 in Bay St. Louis.
The total investment, including the land, is $14 million to $15 million, according to the developers.
"The hotel represents the largest private investment post-Katrina (in the city) and will lead to spinoff investments," said Mayor Les Fillingame.
MHR Development's Kip Reddien said the hotel will be a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design or LEED project with such features as geothermal heating and cooling and other environmentally friendly features.
"We are hopeful that as the Technology Park evolves, it will incorporate LEED design features in other developments," Reddien said.
The hotel will have conference facilities, a business center and a bar and restaurant. Plans call for 143 rooms but that number could go up to 172 rooms based on a marketing review, Reddien said.
"We hope to start construction late summer with a 16- to 18-month construction period," he said.
Tish Williams, director of the Hancock County Chamber of Commerce, said the hotel will be "a catalyst to spur other development around the interchange."
The Technology Park houses a 30,000-square-foot building.
Scott Bolton, the park's project manager, said the Holiday Inn should benefit from its proximity to NASA's Stennis Space Center and Stennis International Airport, which is owned and operated by the Hancock County Development Commission.
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