New Plans for Downtown Club

Police say big crowds fill the Cadillac Club each week. The club was getting ready to close Sunday morning when a fight broke out leaving a man dead outside the club. Teresa Speir owns a bookstore across the street. "It was unfortunate and very sad to hear. We did not want, of course nobody wanted that to happen."

Gulfport police say the second floor nightclub is open only on Thursday and Saturday nights. The assistant chief says the calls for help have gotten so frequent, that they have extra patrols near the club on Saturday night. But Steve Barnes says the club owners have been willing to help. "We have met several times with the owners of the club down there. They have expressed some concerns and they have to some degree cooperated with us in trying to address some of the problems but it's just that we've had such a number of calls for service down there it's just really gettin' tough to deal with," Barnes says.

Last September, the building changed hands. The new owner has her own plans, which don't include the Cadillac owners. Macken says,,"I gave them six months to find another place and then I will start renovations hopefully first of April. And hopefully have fine dining downstairs and a dinner theater on the second floor and we're working with the city to hopefully do condos on the third and fourth floor."

Macken says she wants to bring a new look to downtown. And her neighbors, like Teresa Speir, say they can't wait to see it. "We are really delighted because it offers an opportunity and a good use for the building and it's gonna get us some more residents downtown and we felt all along that restaurants and establishing a neighborhood downtown with people living downtown is gonna help make the biggest changes here," Speir says.

Two of the Cadillac Club owners told us they acknowledge they have to work with Gulfport Police.  Owner George Bush says, "Anything that we thought could become a remote problem, we would call them. The police department has worked with us and we have worked with them."