After receiving approval from the Mississippi Gaming Commission (MGC) in August 2016 for the 10-acre site located on the west side of the harbor, Gulfport Gaming Development was given until January 31 to present construction plans to the city of Gulfport, Mississippi and other property owners for review. Delays due to the probability of financing uncertainties for the planned $140 million casino were expected and planned since last September. The matter, which was scheduled to be heard by the Gulfport Planning Commission on Thursday, has been removed from the agenda.
Developers were at the MGC office in Jackson earlier this month, photographs and plans in hand, according to Allen Godfrey, the gaming commission’s executive director. Godfrey reportedly said that Gulfport Gaming Development met with staff and were also given a slide presentation of the planned project, according to the news agency. Prior to that, however, the developers have had little contact since September, when Virginia attorney Robert Lubin requested that the city cut the lease payments on the land by half for two months until the EB-5 program was renewed by Congress. The special program is what enabled Lubin and Kevin Preston, his business partner, to raise money to build the casino. The Gulfport City Council granted the reprieve.
Remaining on the Planning Commission’s Thursday agenda is DDR Gulfport Promenade’s request to subdivide property near Mississippi 605 north of Interstate 10. Gulfport’s director of urban development, Greg Pietrangelo, reportedly said one parcel was sold by DDR to a car dealership and it is in negotiations with a different company to purchase property. Approval of Gulfport Gaming Development’s general plan by the city would lay the groundwork for the extension of the service road at Helen Richards Drive I-10.
Last year, Lubin told the news agency that the minimum investment for the project, is $500,000 and that he estimates between 120 and 140 investors would be needed for the casino’s construction. Lubin estimated the total cost for the casino resort would be between $140 million and $160 million.