The Port of Gulfport is moving forward with their $570 million expansion project with the help of their tenants. The Island View Casino and Dupont have signed long term leases with the port, helping to secure the success of the expansion. The Port of Gulfport is moving ahead full speed on their restoration project. The port is about a month away from the end of phase one and will then move into the construction phase. The expansion is complimented by the 10 year lease signed by Island View Casino and Dupont, who are both spending millions on major construction projects.
Jonathon Daniels the Port Director of the Port of Gulfport, says, “A lack of strength we had here at the port was the lack of long term tenants that we had. We had short term agreements.” The lease agreement with the Island View Casino will hopefully ensure stability for the Port of Gulfport for many years to come. Daniels also says, “It also paved the way for them to be able to make significant financial commitments to the port for the long term. With the Island View, it's a $58 million investment that they're making in the former Grand Hotel, which will be the Island View Beach Tower.”
The port is giving Dupont a $60 million loan to expand their facilities as well. The port's expansion of the east and west terminals with elements like roads and rail lines will serve Dupont and other tenants. The combination of private and port construction will be a total of $250 million in projects, but the construction won't be completed for two years, so current tenants aren't sure if they'll stay. Crowley just signed a two year extension and will re-evaluate after project completion. Chiquita hasn't made any decisions since major negotiations with other tenants are still underway. Daniels says it won't be long before another important tenant moves in.
He closes, “If all goes according to plan, within the next few weeks, we should be signing a lease which would be taking the entire east terminal, or 52 acres, off the market. It’s too early for us to announce the name of the company. They are a publicly traded company. They will be involved in the international oil and gas services industry.” Once the entire port restoration project is completed, the port is responsible for securing 1,300 new jobs within three years as a stipulation of their grant.