Businessman with a generous heart donates $28M worth of land instead of building his dream casino
It’s important to recognize the rare acts of kindness and generosity in a world that’s filled with greed and undying lust for success. And even then, a good portion of individuals only give to others for the purpose of self-gratification, tax deductions, and maintaining an honorable reputation. However, there are also people like Chris Ferrara, who sacrifice their plans, investments, and success in order to change lives. This month he donated 30 acres of land on which he previously planned to build a casino facility.
Chris Ferrera is a successful businessman who had big plans for the future, as he already set out to build a casino on the 30 acres of land he purchased in East Biloxi way back around 2005. Ferrara’s vision for a new gambling facility was already in motion as he managed to get site approval from the Mississippi Gaming Commission, which alone is a lengthy process.
The Golden Gulf Casino land at the corner of Crawford Street and Back Bay Boulevard also had its challenges. The lack of proper roads surrounding the location made it difficult to make any deals with other casino operators, but Ferrera was more than willing to get the gears shifting. Back in 2015, the Biloxi council voted to approve the plan to finish work on the remaining roads to bring Ferraro’s proposed $260 million casino plan to life.
The facility was said to include a resort with a large convention and entertainment center, hotel, shops, restaurant, and even a bowling alley. This $22 million project was believed to have massive success, as the majority of the East Biloxi roads were completed years ago, and it was only that last link that prevented proper travel from Back Bay Boulevard south to U.S. 90 that was slowing everything down. In other words, a hefty sum of money was already invested, and there wasn’t that much more to go until the casino would enter the construction stages.
Something along the way prompted Ferrera to stop in his tracks, and he decided to donate the 30-acres of land to the local Boys and Girls Club of the Gulf Coast. This massive gift was worth $28M, not counting the $75,000 in taxes he paid on the property this December as the transaction took place. And although Ferrera’s gift is held by tax exempt, he expressed that he genuinely wanted to make a difference.
This desire streamed from the childhood memories that reminded him of how much the Boys and Girls Club impacted lives, and he wished to contribute in order to keep the good works going. He also mentioned that the non-profit organization would have complete discretion in what will happen on the donated property.
“I did it truly just to help the Boys and Girls Club,”
The good news for the generous businessman is that the site approval can be transferred if he decides to resume the project elsewhere. Whether the remaining funds for the roads became a hassle or the entire project prompted doubts in Ferrera’s mind is remains a mystery. Regardless, he had the option to sell the land to make back the money he’d invested, but instead, he chose the route that will serve a greater purpose. Not just for the Boys and Girls club, but Ferrera as well as he continues pursuing future business plans. He had a few unlucky streaks in the past, perhaps this was the needed turnaround.
Each act of generosity is an investment into one’s future, as the promise of “give, and it shall be given unto you” has been proven to be an irrefutable statement. The law of conservation of energy and mass tells us that everything on this earth keeps circling back around in various forms, and the mass never escapes. The same goes for each action - what goes around comes around, and the good deeds are bound to transform into beautiful things, as they can never truly dissipate.