Biloxi Council Clears Way For Multimillion Dollar Projects

Two multi-million dollar developments will soon be getting underway in Biloxi. That's because the council approved zoning changes that will clear the way for Boomtown's expansion plans and an RW Development project that will be along Veterans Avenue.

In about a month, the 11 acre Boomtown property will be busy with construction workers and heavy equipment, as the casino moves forward with a multimillion dollar expansion.

Last week, council members tabled the casino's request for a zoning change to waterfront  because they wanted to see specific plans for the expansion. At Tuesday's meeting, casino executives presented phase one of the expansion. It includes 350 parking spaces and a playground on the southeast side.

"Last time, we didn't show how the green space was going to be utilized. We just showed green space underneath a fence or within a fence. And we did, in the meantime, notify Councilman Stallworth and we agreed to let the city use that for a park for the children in the neighborhood, which is a reasonable request," said Boomtown's Attorney Mike Cavanaugh.

The council also changed the zoning for nearly 20 acres of land along Veterans Avenue. RW Development plans to build a mixed use development, which would include apartments, retail and office space and 150 hotel rooms.

The Council passed the zoning change despite one resident's objections.

"When are the people of the Gulf Coast going to stand up and say, 'Enough is enough for condos?' They're going up everywhere. Since Katrina, people are still living in tents and FEMA trailers," said Biloxi resident Jerri Kitchings.

On a different topic, the city council has given a committee 45 days to recommend a location for the Maritime and Seafood Industry Museum. It's been a controversial issue. Some would like to see it at the old Tullis site. Mayor Holloway says he wants to consider all options.