BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - City officials in Biloxi have 25 million reasons to smile. That's the dollar amount of the investment to build The Blake, an assisted senior living facility located near the corner of Popps Ferry and Cedar Lake Roads.
Now that the shovels have tossed the dirt, it's time to get down to the business. Already, land has been cleared.
Company officials say this is the place to be. Blake co-founder Glenn Barclay said, "We love the culture here, we love the people here. We feel like our product fits nicely here and there was a need."
Mayor FoFo Gilich agrees with that assessment, stating, "Hey, it's a fit. It's part of what we need to do to move forward with everything you need to be in Biloxi. To live and breathe and just be a part of our scene."
Other new businesses may also want to be a part of that scene. That the word from Kenny Glavan, the Biloxi councilman who represents the area. "They're going to say, 'Where can I put my business to capture that demand that's here?' As each month goes by, you'll see more and more of those developers move into this corridor," Glavan said.
When the Blake opens with its 118 units, there could be up to 200 people moving into this area of Cedar Lake and Popps Ferry Road. For the nearby businesses, that's something they want to see.
That includes Grace Healthcare, located just up the road from The Blake. Jessica Parker, a customer service rep, said, "We think it's a great development for this area. Anytime additional people move in, it means more potential customers and our business certainly caters to senior citizens."
Those seniors are already expressing an interest for The Blake. Scott Hames is the vice-president of sales. "With our reputation and the services we offer and in what we can offer the senior population, I don't want to say it's easy, but at the same time, the community will sell itself."
For everyone who came today, that's what they were waiting to hear.
Officials with Quality Senior Living, the company overseeing The Blake, say they hope to have the facility up and running by the Fall of 2019. About 100 full and part-time positions will be available, and hiring for key positions has already begun.