While Everett is currently doing everything in its power to economically revitalize its industrial waterfront into a large entertainment center, its Planning Board has officially granted final validation of Wynn Resorts’ extension across the street from its Encore Boston Harbor Casino.
Wynn finally managed to get approval for the 142K SF extension, titled East of Broadway, which is slated primarily for poker rooms and sports wagering, a 979-seat theater, a nightclub and two hotels, as first reported by Everett Independent. Additionally, the aforementioned expansion will be linked to the main casino through a pedestrian bridge.
It is envisaged that new casino project will be constructed on a plot of land that for a certain period of time contained surface parking lots and industrial establishments.
Furthermore, the offical vote that took place on Monday, October 2, and the aforementioned approval represents the final local validation for the renowned company, but Wynn still needs validation from the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act Office (MEPA) to proceed with the aforementioned expansion project. The MEPA consideration process specifically searches for possible environmental effects of the said project. However, the comment time for MEPA’s decision officially finished on October 10, according to information on their website, and the certification determination is scheduled for October 16.
Raising a legal concern:
The project caused legal concerns about “where Wynn could bring gambling activities.” In this regard, according to Casino.org, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission must hold a vote to decide if the expansion may be considered part of the existing license for the aforementioned Encore Casino that followed the 2013 ballot referendum. Relatedly, according to the Boston Globe: “In February, the commission allowed the developer to move forward with the project after a 4-1 vote.”
In addition, Wynn purchased Constellation Energy, an energy company located on a 45-acre property in Everett, for $25 million as part of the auction. The location, located next to the suggested extension and Encore Boston, is a different part of the developer’s vision for Everett’s waterfront. Commenting on the purchase in a statement, Michael Weaver, a spokesman for Wynn, commented: “Our goal for the purchase is to ensure that future development in the area is synergistic with our existing investment at Encore Boston Harbor, our planned development on Lower Broadway, and the broad planning of the Lower Broadway District by the City of Everett.”
Big Night Entertainment Group will manage most of the blocks of the new building, expect poker and sports betting areas.