GAUTIER -- The city has renamed an exit on Interstate 10 in Gautier -- East Lake -- to match the Cedar Lake exit in Biloxi.
The City Council voted Tuesday night.
It's the Mississippi 57 exit off I-10 where Bienville Orthopaedic Specialists is building a $10 million, three-story medical building, with plans to add two more.
Bienville Orthopaedic also has ownership in Cedar Lake.
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The Cedar Lake exit is known as a medical destination in Biloxi -- a main building that has attracted doctor, dentist and surgeon offices into a complex of medical options.
That's the plan for East Lake and its new medical building: To attract orthopedic patients from the six southern counties.
The East Lake medical park is going up in the northeast quadrant of I-10 and Mississippi 57, where the city also plans to develop an East Lake Economic Development corridor.
"Bienville Orthopaedic came up with East Lake," said Mayor Gordon Gollott. "They developed Cedar Lake."
The medical group has a good marketing plan, Gollott said, and the city would be wise to go along with the name change and support the effort. Gautier is also spending $650,000 to expand and rework Allen Road that runs in front of the East Lake complex. It voted last night to rename the front portion of Allen Road, where it runs by the building, East Lake Boulevard. The residential portion will remain Allen Road for the 15 or more homes on it.
The East Lake exit does have a lake -- a big one -- next to the medical compound. It is also the exit that has the well-known Shed BBQ and Blues Joint, the Jackson County DMV driver's license office and Camp Journey's End campground. It's the exit many take to get to Vancleave, and it's only a three-minute drive south to U.S. 90 and Ocean Springs.
Dean Thigpen, CEO for Bienvielle, announced to the City Council on Tuesday that they plan to move in this summer. He also said the group received state permission for an MRI imaging machine, which means a new $4 million building is coming as Phase II of East Lake. Phase III will be another medical building, he told the council.
Thigpen said East Lake will be a major hub for the company and will grow over the next four years.