Wynn Resorts Presses Pause On Development Plans Near Encore Casino

Photo: Carl Stevens/WBZ NewsRadio

BOSTON (State House News Service) — Wynn Resorts is tapping the brakes on its plan to develop the land across the street from its Encore Boston Harbor casino in Everett to include an entertainment venue, restaurants and parking garage, a Gaming Commission official said Wednesday morning.

Joe Delaney, the Gaming Commission's chief of community affairs, said he was prepared Wednesday to brief the commission on the plan that was set to include a 1,800-seat entertainment venue, about 20,000 square feet of restaurant space and a garage with about 2,200 spaces. But he said he heard from casino officials in the last week that they have "decided to pause the permitting process for this development so that they can do some reevaluation on whether the development as proposed is the best use for the site."

The Gaming Commission on Wednesday was going to take up that question of whether a development across the street from the casino would be considered part of Encore's technical "gaming establishment" footprint and therefore subject to the commission's regulatory oversight and the provisions of the state's expanded gaming law.

"Some issues came up with respect to whether it's part of the gaming establishment or not -- that has certain impacts on their development -- as well as COVID and other things that they're considering at this point in time," Delaney said. "So Encore has indicated to us that they will come back to us once this evaluation is complete and they have essentially a final proposal to move ahead with, whether it's this one or with some minor or some major changes."

The Boston Globe reported last month that the proposed development would be the first phases in Wynn Resorts' effort to transform the area along Broadway in Everett outside its $2.6 billion resort casino. The Globe said the casino company wanted to start construction this year and finish it in 2024.

Delaney said that the plans are not being withdrawn with the Everett Planning Department, but that the local public hearing process will essentially be put on hold until a more concrete plan is ready to be presented. He said the plan would first come before the Gaming Commission for a determination on whether the development would become part of the official gaming establishment.

Written by Colin A. Young, State House News Service

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