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ATLANTIC CITY-Boyd Gaming and MGM Mirage are getting set to add a 45-story, $350-million tower to their 15-month-old Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa here. The latest expansion is on top of the $200-million addition the co-owners announced just last summer.

But unlike the earlier expansion, which involves some 500,000 sf of amenities, including gaming, retail, restaurant and entertainment space, this one will add rooms as well, some 800 in all. That total includes about 500 standard guest rooms and 100 suites and, in a new dimension to the sprawling property, about 200 luxury condos. Two swimming pools, an expanded spa and other uses are all part of the mix.

The expansion hasn’t been formally announced yet, but Boyd Gaming officials unveiled their plans to the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority late last week. A formal announcement is expected shortly, and a spokesperson would only confirm that the project just needs final approval by the boards of Boyd and MGM Mirage to move ahead. Boyd Gaming is the actual operator of the property for the partnership.

Under the scenario laid out to the CRDA board members, work on the new tower would start next July on the second anniversary of the property’s opening, and would be completed about two years later. Work on the earlier announced expansion is already under way, with a projected completion in mid-2006. Borgata declined further comment.

Both expansions follow on the heels of a grand opening that has taken this oceanfront gaming mecca by storm. Since that opening, the other casino/hotel properties have been scrambling with new expansion projects of their own to keep pace, or to speed up projects they already had under way.

Located in the city’s Marina District, away from the boardwalk, the property quickly went to the top of the 12-casino/hotel roster in terms of earnings. Q3 earnings for the property are scheduled to be announced later this week, and will follow on the heels of a Q2 that saw it earn more than $54 million on gross revenues of almost $165 million.

CRDA, the state agency that oversees the spending of casino-generated revenues that revert to the state, will help finance the latest expansion. The funding will come from a combination of a trio of pools, including a $92-million casino expansion construction fund signed into law earlier this year by outgoing Gov. James McGreevey.

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