The look of Biloxi's waterfront may change again. Owners of the old Windjammer condominium site met with Wilton Henson Associates Tuesday afternoon. The California based group has a contract to buy what one casino insider called the prime gaming spot on the coast right now.
The spot is so good because now, it's sandwiched between Beau Rivage and Hard Rock. Consequently, there's more foot traffic in front of the old Windjammer condominium site now than there ever was before Hurricane Katrina tore through the complex.
Gamblers keep walking back and forth between Beau Rivage and Hard Rock. One gambler called the vacant land between the two resorts, "Empty space ready to be sold."
Another pedestrian stopped in front of the property and said it looked like "a vacant lot where probably a hotel is going to be going at some point in time."
Attorney Mike Cavanaugh sees an opportunity for somebody to develop the waterfront lot.
"Since it is clearly within 800 feet of the mean high water line, it could be a part of a much larger component for a gaming site," he said.
Cavanaugh represents the restaurateur Al Copeland. Copeland's had a $25 million offer to buy the Windjammer condominium property. His idea was to combine it with the Bombay Bicycle Club property he owns on the north side of Highway 90. Copeland felt that would have given him more than enough land to create a new downtown Biloxi resort. But his offer got rejected by Windjammer owners.
Because the property is just an acre and a quarter in size, attorney Cavanaugh believes the Copeland concept is the best use for that prime piece of waterfront property.
"I see a component of a larger project," he thought.
Hard Rock is currently leasing the Windjammer land, so the new resort can use the vacant property for off site parking. Joe Billhimer knows Hard Rock cars can't stay there forever, because somebody will close a deal to buy and develop the prime waterfront location next door.
"We just hope that whatever development goes there is appropriate for the area," the Hard Rock president said.
Windjammer property owners had what was called a "good meeting" with the Wilton Henson Associates group Tuesday afternoon. The attorney representing the condo owners said the Wilton group should close a deal and take over the waterfront site later this year. What the developers plan to put between Hard Rock and Beau Rivage wasn't announced.