• Payment to the City of $100,000 per year of the Option Term;
  • A term of three years, with the ability to extend the Option Term for up to two additional terms of one year each;
  • A full-value purchase price of $750,000 per acre (totaling more than $10 million), based on an appraisal of the land by an independent third-party appraisal firm approved by both the Tribe and the City;
  • A provision whereby the Tribe must have been given the right to conduct commercial gaming before the land may be purchased; and
  • Required minimum standards with regard to the size, design, and construction of the resort and casino.
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Key terms of the Development Agreement include:

  • A requirement that the Tribe complete the project within a to-be-determined amount of time
  • A commitment to negotiate a “Construction and Use Covenant” to govern and regulate the construction and use of the property, including compliance with Virginia Statewide Building Code;
  • A requirement that the Tribe pay for all costs associated with transportation infrastructure, flood mitigation, offsite utility improvements, and any other infrastructure improvements directly necessary for the project; and
  • A commitment to pay for construction of the Elizabeth River Trail through or around the project

Commenting on the signings, Pamunkey Indian Chief Robert Gray said…

“The signing of these agreements makes it official – we are partners with Norfolk to bring a world-class resort and casino to the region. I want to thank the Mayor, those members of Council who have supported our project, the City Administration and the thousands of people in Norfolk who have welcomed this project with excitement.  We can’t wait to get started,” as reported by WTKR News 3.

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In addition to a four-diamond, full-service convention hotel, according to the statement, the proposed Pamunkey Resort & Casino is to include several onsite restaurants, an entertainment venue, a luxury spa, and both indoor and outdoor swimming pools. The development is moreover expected to create thousands of construction and ongoing full-time jobs and to attract millions of visitors a year.

Lengthy process:

The tribe has modified its plans in an attempt to be involved in current General Assembly deliberations regarding possible casinos in Bristol, Danville and Portsmouth, which were included in Substitute Senate Bill 1126 signed by Gov. Ralph Northam in March 2019.

With the possibility of the federal process for a tribal casino taking years, by the time the tribe’s project would be ready to proceed, other casinos would likely already be operating.