It takes three strikes before one is out, and so far casino development magnate Steve Wynn has only one strike against him.
It appears that – after whiffing in Foxboro with Patriots owner Bob Kraft – Wynn will take his second swing at developing a Greater Boston area casino in Everett.
The Revere Journal was the first to confirm on Monday with City of Everett officials that Wynn would visit Everett in the near future to discuss developing a casino on a large tract of land west of Rt. 99 – a spot also being looked at by other casino developers and has been viewed already by an employee of the Wynn Group.
“The Wynn Group is taking a look at the site,” said David Rodrigues, acting chief of staff for Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria. “[Mr. Wynn] plans on visiting the City of Everett in the very near future and we’ll be interested in hearing what he has to say about developing this site.”
Rodrigues indicated that several developers are interested in the site – which is known officially as the old Monsanto Site.
“We’ve had some interest with developers at the site for a variety of proposals, including several casino developers,” he said. “We’re having ongoing discussions with casino developers about siting in Everett. They’ve focused almost exclusively on the Old Monsanto site and I don’t know of any other site in Everett they are discussing.
“We’re thrilled people are finally starting to see Everett for the great opportunity it truly is,” he continued. “We’re looking forward to hearing proposals from all casino developers and from Mr. Wynn.”
Rodrigues said he could not elaborate on a date when Wynn is coming to Everett, but again said it would be in the “very near future.”
The news sent ripples through the Massachusetts expanded gaming world – a world in which Suffolk Downs was the only known applicant and has appeared to have a lock on the one Greater Boston casino license.
It also alters the lucrative host community status for the Greater Boston area casino – pushing both Boston and Revere aside in favor of Everett.
With a giant like Wynn entering the game in Greater Boston, things have changed dramatically.
Wynn, 70, is a major player elsewhere in the casino development world, and is the owner of the palatial Wynn Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. He also owns a casino in Macau, and formerly owned Las Vegas stalwarts like The Mirage, Treasure Island and The Bellagio.
He is estimated to have a net worth of $2.5 billion.
Last year, Wynn buddied up with Kraft to propose a mega-casino next to Gillette Stadium and Patriot Place. Wynn appeared at a 2011 football game in the owners box with Kraft and then mounted a major campaign in Foxboro to convince residents to approve a zoning change allowing a casino.
Wynn spent a great deal of money on an advertising campaign and direct mailings to every residence in Foxboro. There was even quite a political fight between elected officials in the Town. However, in the end, the proposal was squashed and Wynn pulled out.
Now, it appears he is back in Boston for a second try.
Rodrigues said talk with casino developers is a recent undertaking, but one that has Everett leaders listening intently.
“This something that happened quickly for us, but we’re ready to take a careful look at any plan and make sure it’s the best thing for the City as a whole,” he said. “Everett is unique in its mix of residential and industrial uses. This is one site that is the furthest away from any residents or residential neighborhoods. That said, we’re very sensitive to the impact of any development on that neighborhood down The Line.”
According to Rodrigues, the Massachusetts Bay Commuter Rail (MBCR) currently owns the property on Horizon Way. Property records from the City of Everett also indicate that the DeNunzio Group of Cambridge – which developed Atlantis Marina recently in Winthrop – owns 30 acres of land in that same area.
They bought it for $8 million in 2009 from John Pastore of Modern Continental Construction Company. During that very same time, Pastore and Modern Continental plead guilty in Boston’s Federal Court to 39 counts of making false statements in conjunction with tunnel safety in the Big Dig project.