Construction Boom Predicted For South Mississippi

Travis Leggett helped build Beau Rivage. Once that tower went up, he headed to Florida and found similar construction work. The out of town work kept him on the road, a lot.

"Not seeing my family very much, that's for sure," he said.

Leggett's five year journey ended when Yates Construction brought him back to Gulfport. Leggett is now project supervisor of the Legacy condominium project.

"That means I'm home every night in my bed, get to see my family, my wife and kids, and back to the place I grew up," he said. "This is home for me."

Leggett's home is getting its second major facelift since 1992. Construction cranes have reappeared on South Mississippi's horizon. Multi-million dollar projects are once again under construction.

Tom Gonzalez is in charge of one of those projects -- Hard Rock's downtown Biloxi construction site.

"Yes I think it's an excellent time to be in construction," Gonzalez said.

As many as 700 construction workers may build the Hard Rock resort between now and the summer of 2005. About 350 will build the Isle's next hotel, 200 will build Biloxi's Hope VI project, 300 will be needed to build Future Pipe on Seaway Road, and hundreds more will finish the condomium towers.

"It's good to have all that stuff going on," 28 year construction veteran Jerry Dexter said. "I'm glad to be out here as part of it."

As you might imagine, the Roy Anderson group has been swamped with employment requests.

"Oh most definitely," Gonzalez said. "I'm getting calls from all the way up in Birmingham for people looking for work."

The Gonzalez project officially starts Tuesday, when Hard Rock officials break ground on their $235 million dollar.