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Biloxi City Council Unanimously Approves Plans for the
 $500 million Bacaran Bay Casino and Resort
By Michael Newsom, The Sun Herald, Biloxi, Miss.
Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News

Feb. 22, 2006 - BILOXI -- Without much discussion, the City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved plans for the $500 million Bacaran Bay casino and resort, which is to be located on Caillavet Street next to Keegan Bayou.

The casino project, with a 21-story, 445-unit condo building on-site, would have a 40-lane bowling alley, seven restaurants, and a 20,000-square-foot blues club. The new casino development also would have a dog hotel and two wedding chapels, among other amenities.

"This is one of those projects that can jump-start Caillavet Street," said Ward 1 Councilman George Lawrence.

The council said the new site would help revitalize the economy, after representatives from the Torguson Gaming Group said there would be about 2,000 jobs created.

The council gave the development a variance on its number of units per acre, allowing the site 108 units per acre in a zone that is limited to 30 units per acre.

Some councilmen raised concerns the project would not have an elevated walkway from the two-story parking garage to the main buildings, but they decided as the site had three traffic lights with crosswalks, that would be sufficient for a garage with 450 spaces.

Future expansions could include an overhead walkway, developers said. They also said the project's future plans will include retail shops on the ground level of the garage.

The project also requires the right of way on two city streets, which would include buying all of Balius Alley and a portion Cuevas Street, and the developers said all properties in that area have been bought.

As for the density, the project was given less than the 145 units per acre of the Beau Rivage, said Mike Cavanaugh, the group's legal counsel.

Construction could begin on the project in late spring, and developers believe the project will take 2½ years to complete.

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Copyright (c) 2006, The Sun Herald, Biloxi, Miss.

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