Thursday, April 17, 2014
The Associated Press
EVERETT, Mass. — Las Vegas gambling magnate Steve Wynn's firm on Wednesday unveiled a rendering of a $1.2 billion riverfront casino proposal that will compete with two others for the sole eastern Massachusetts resort casino license.
The rendering envisions a 19-story hotel and casino with a glass facade rising on the banks of the Mystic River, connected to what appear to be restaurants and retail stores along a riverwalk on either side of the main building.
The proposed casino would sit on 37 acres of land at the site of a former chemical plant in Everett, a city of about 41,000 residents just north of Boston.
The new details were released by representatives of Wynn Resorts and Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria, Jr., after a teleconference last week in which city residents said they were eager to see what the casino would look like.
Wynn, whose prominent Las Vegas properties include the Bellagio and The Mirage, had earlier sought to develop a resort casino in Foxborough on land owned by New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft. He abandoned those plans last May after it became clear public opinion in the town was sharply divided over the casino and selectmen declined to enter into negotiations.
The design for the Everett casino is far different from the earlier Foxborough plan, which called for a six-story building resembling a large rustic lodge.
The proposed 2.1 million-square-foot riverfront tower would have 550 hotel rooms, along with entertainment and retail space.
The Suffolk Downs thoroughbred race track in East Boston and a group that hopes to build a casino in the town of Milford, about 30 miles west of Boston, are also competing for the same license, one of three regional resort casinos allowed under the state's 2011 expanded gambling law.
Suffolk Downs and its partner, Caesar's Entertainment, unveiled a rendering of its proposed resort last summer. On Wednesday, it released a new three-dimensional model and updated renderings and scheduled three public meetings next month to answer questions from local residents.
According to Chip Tuttle, chief operating officer of Suffolk Downs, the new model offers more details of what the development would look like and plans for addressing traffic in the congested neighborhood near Logan International Airport.
Would-be casino developers must negotiate a host community agreement with the city or town where they plan to build and have that deal approved by local voters before it can be considered by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, which will make the final decision on the awarding of casino licenses.