• 55°

Holiday Inn to open in May, says firm’s VP

A project long in the works seems to be finally wrapping up.

The Holiday Inn Express on Brookway Boulevard near Interstate 55 is nearing completion after first starting construction in the summer of 2008.

Despite its halt in assembly, work resumed, and today the hotel is close to an opening date.

“May 9,” said Vice President of Hotel Operations Cindy Breaux on Wednesday. “We are moving fast right now because we want to meet that deadline.”

The 79-room hotel will offer exercise facilities, an outdoor pool and meeting facilities, according to Breaux.

“We have already had some locals contact us inquiring about booking events such as reunions and wedding groups,” she said.

Breaux is optimistic about the positive affects the hotel will bring to the Brookhaven economy.

“It should draw business to Brookhaven rather than McComb or Jackson,” she said. “We hope to cater to the I-55 traveler as well as the local community.”

She continued, “We are absolutely excited we will be a part of Brookhaven.”

Within a year of its inception, work stopped on the hotel due to difficulties by the hotel’s proprietor, Jackie’s International, in obtaining funding.

For years, a steel skeleton of the building stood stagnant on site, considered an eyesore by many in the community, including city officials.

In 2011, the city sent a letter to the property owner requesting action on the property.

City leaders later allowed Jackie’s International to obtained a renewed building permit at a discounted price, and work on the structure resumed.