Casino Forum Well Attended

December 20, 2012
By

More than 250 residents of the city converged on the Edward Connolly Center on Chelsea Street last Tuesday December 11, to hear about a proposed $1 billion casino development on the former Monsanto property site at what is now known as Mystic Point.

However, during the meeting Mayor Carlo DeMaria had indicated that billionaire casino developer Steve Wynn had signed a lease on the property in preparation of filing a casino proposal with the state. Unfortunately, that was not the case.

The Mayor later clarified his error stating that the property owners and Wynn, had entered into a period of “exclusive discussions and that a right of first refusal for the site.”

“Developments continue to progress daily and I’m excited by these prospects, added the mayor.

However, going forward all requests for comment on the status of lease or sale negotiations between the parties will be addressed directly by the parties.

“It has always been my intention to conduct an inclusive and open public process for any redevelopment proposal of the Mystic Point area,” the mayor said. “Since taking office in 2008, I have been committed to the rebirth of Lower Broadway, now Mystic Point. My administration has worked hard to prime the area for a large scale redevelopment and we are excited to continue the dialogue for this and any other projects.”

The Mayor also noted during the meeting that while the city hopes and expects Wynn Resorts to bring forward an application to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission by the January 15, 2013 deadline, it remains strictly a proposal.

The ultimate decision about that proposal rests with Everett voters, who would have to approve of the project at a referendum vote, but first the city will be charged with negotiating a host agreement with the developer, if a project is proposed.

According to a spokesperson at the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, the Wynn Group was scheduled to meet with staff at the commission to review its organizational structure.

The proposed casino development is expected to generate $20 to $30 million in annual tax revenue.

The Mayor’s office and the Office of Planning and Development have said that last week’s forum was just the first of many such meetings the city will host in advance of its efforts to reach an agreement with the developers.