City taking over ownership of historic hotel
Published: August 8,2011
GULFPORT — Gulfport’s City Council has voted to take ownership of a closed, historic hotel that needs major repairs, although a current owner says that effort will be fought.
The Markham hotel was built in the 1920s. In later years it was used for office space but now officials describe it as a blighted home for vagrants and rodents. It was badly damaged in 2005 by Hurricane Katrina
Mayor George Schloegel says the city hopes to have the old hotel renovated and re-opened, although demolition also is a possibility.
“We don’t see Gulfport making a long term investment of any taxpayers’ money,” Schloegel said. “We would see that if Gulfport gets it under eminent domain some of those investors that wanted to buy it would be given the opportunity to buy it. We would try to flip it and recoup our money. The main thing we want to do is get it out of the status quo.”
The building’s part owner, Louisiana attorney Michael Eckstein, says he and his partners would fight an effort by the city to take the hotel. The city says Eckstein hasn’t responded to demands for repairs, but Eckstein accuses Gulfport of denying permits for repairs.
“We are taking steps,” said Eckstein. “We are talking to developers and have been very active. We would like to be moving quicker, but the economy is very difficult right now.”
Eckstein said he and his partners will challenge eminent domain action in court.
The Markham Hotel opened on Jan. 31, 1927. The hotel was named for Charles H. Markham, a former president of the Illinois Central Railroad.
To sign up for Mississippi Business Daily Updates, click here.
Twang & Tourism: The Country Music Trail
FOLLOW THE MBJ ON TWITTERMy Tweets
Top Posts & Pages
- Deal for Jackson-Orlando flights in works with Allegiant
- (UPDATED) Making Jackson-Evers affordable to Allegiant is key to regaining Orlando service
- Great River Industries moving headquarters to Natchez
- Congressional delegation applauds Air Force's decision on Keesler, but not satisfied
- The Blues and higher education — Delta State launches the International Delta Blues Project
- Baseball stadium for Farish Street? It’s possible
- Moon River Foods creating 100 jobs in Mississippi Delta
- County rescinds gun ban; sheriff says lawmakers may 'deal with the consequences'
- Singing River shutting doors on two Coast clinics
- Former state lawmaker Green dies at home at age 62