Gulfport Developer Has Financing, Name

With the required $40 million in financing lined up, and an unofficial name—Golden Harbor--Mississippi Coast Entertainment's proposed $140 million Gulfport casino is moving forward, said Virginia attorney and developer Robert Lubin. He expects the Mississippi Gaming Commission to grant construction approval at its March 16 meeting.

Virginia attorney Robert Lubin of Mississippi Coast Entertainment, said he has raised the million required by Gulfport for a proposed 0 million casino, unofficially named Golden Harbor. Lubin said he plans to meet with the Mississippi Gaming Commission on March 16 for approval to proceed with construction.

The casino project plus renovation of a downtown building depend on investors in the federal EB-5 program, in which foreign investors pay $500,000 to partner in a project that will create 10 jobs, in exchange for permanent U.S. residency. Last fall, Gulfport agreed to extend the casino project deadline by two months; it’s now set to expire April 28. Lubin said he believes the casino project is safe since it already was approved for the EB-5 program.

The Gulfport Planning Commission recently allowed MCE to decrease the number of casino hotel rooms from 400, the city’s current minimum requirement, to 300, the minimum required by the Gaming Commission. The City Council will decide whether to give final approval to hotel plans.

Golden Harbor would be built on the west side of the city harbor on acreage owned by the city, Marine Life Ventures and MC Marine. MCE has a 60-year lease on the property with the Gulfport Redevelopment Commission, the city’s economic development agency.