Mayor Carlo DeMaria this week confirmed that there have been representatives from casino companies in to Everett to look at potential sites for a resort casino, with much of the attention focused on the Monsanto property on lower Broadway.
However, he also pointed out that no firm proposals have been made and no casinos have as yet signed any deals to buy or lease property in the city, saying the interest is, “very preliminary” at this point.
“The property owners came to me about six months ago and told me that they had some casino developers that had interest in the (old) Monsanto site,” explained Mayor DeMaria. “They see it as a really desirable site, especially with the infrastructure that is already there from I-93 and Route 16 and the potential for water service to the site, etc. However, it is important to note that nobody has signed any lease yet and any potential developer will have to submit an application to the Gaming Commission by January, so this is in the early stages.”
DeMaria added that since the first developers expressed their interest in the site, several other casino interests, approximately five or six groups in all, have also approached the property owners.
When asked if he was concerned that the city could be used by casino interests to create more favorable bargaining position for casino proposals in neighboring Revere and East Boston, Mayor DeMaria made it clear that he is going to look out for the best interests of the city of Everett.
“My first concern is to look at what is best for the city of Everett and so if a real proposal for that site does develop, we’ll have to look at all of the things that would go into that,” said the Mayor. “Not just the tax revenue for the city, but also the number of jobs it could bring to the city and the opportunity for other development, and of course, if a casino is proposed for the site, I’d have to bring it to the voters to see if our residents want it here.”
DeMaria also said that he understands why some would feel that a casino development in Everett is not a realistic option for the city, especially considering the headstart that other proposals may have.
“However, if a property owner is going to come to us with a proposal and it’s a real proposal, I’m not going to say that they will or will not win the RFP process (with the gambling commission),” explained DeMaria. “As a CEO of a city, I appreciate what the Speaker and legislature have done and I’m going to make sure that we look at these kinds of proposals on their merits.
Assistant City Solicitor David Rodrigues noted that the fact that several casino developers have now looked at the site in itself is a positive development for the city.
“It says a lot about Everett, that developers see this as a good place to develop,” said Rodrigues. “Not even just with the casinos, but the mayor has heard several times over the past few months that Everett is a ‘hidden gem’