Back Bay Development Hinges On Bayview Widening Project

"I think there is a very viable market on Back Bay for smaller, medium sized, niche type boutique type casinos," realtor Gray Slay said.

Slay has two back bay casino development site listings. He's been told by investors that until Biloxi builds a better Bayview Avenue, Back Bay casino projects won't be funded.

"I think Back Bay, subject to the infrastructure improvements and the road, will lend itself quite nicely to that type of development."

He's not the only person who thinks that way.

"Oh yeah, widening Bayview Avenue is the key to development of that area," Biloxi Mayor A.J. Holloway said.

Biloxi does have a plan to move Bayview Avenue about 400 feet south of its present location. The wider road would become a main entrance for projects like the Acropolis Casino Resort. Acropolis developers already have some of the permits they need to build their four-year old concept. But the company's president said nothing can be done until Biloxi builds the new Bayview. City leaders are well aware of that.

"I think it's very important for the city that we get this leg of this project done and continue working on Caillavet Street. Several Bayview Avenue properties have potential casino site signs in front of them," Mayor Holloway said.

Some are by seafood plants. Others are by homes and existing casinos. But analysts don't expect any more casinos to pop up on Biloxi's Back Bay until the city widens Bayview. And the mayor said that's at least three months down the road.

In the past, Mayor Holloway said the Bayview Avenue widening project would cost about $5 million. He's been told that once construction begins, the Back Bay road could be built in a year.