Northeast Times

Wynn plans two East Coast casinos — Fishtown and Boston

The pro­posed designs of Wynn Ever­ett out­side Bo­ston, left, and Wynn Phil­adelphia, right. REN­DER­INGS BY WYNN RE­SORTS

Would Wynn build the ex­act same casino in both cit­ies, if he is gran­ted the chance to build at all?

River Wards res­id­ents have heard a lot in re­cent months about Steve Wynn’s pro­posed casino and hotel re­sort on the Delaware River, cur­rently one of six pro­jects vy­ing for the city’s second casino li­cense.

At the same time Wynn’s been mak­ing his case for a casino in Phil­adelphia, though, he’s been mar­ket­ing a very sim­il­ar pro­pos­al to the city of Bo­ston.

In Ever­ett, a town just out­side Bo­ston, Wynn pro­posed in Decem­ber to build a 19-story hotel and casino on the banks of Bo­ston’s Mys­tic River, on a 37-acre former in­dus­tri­al site. The pro­posed budget in Ever­ett is $1.2 bil­lion.

Sound fa­mil­i­ar?

Wynn filed his ap­plic­a­tion in Phil­adelphia in Novem­ber 2012 for the pro­posed $900 mil­lion Wynn Phil­adelphia.

The ho­tels have a strik­ingly sim­il­ar design, based on ren­der­ings re­leased to me­dia in Phil­adelphia and Bo­ston – down to the de­tails of the River Walk on each site’s re­spect­ive river­front.

“Mr. Wynn is at the design table every step of the way,” re­spon­ded Gamal Aziz, COO and pres­id­ent of Wynn Re­sorts, at last week’s Pennsylvania Gam­ing Con­gress. “This is a design that we have had a lot of suc­cess with.”

When asked if it was real­ist­ic for Wynn to build two sim­il­ar casi­nos on the East coast sev­en hours apart, Aziz re­spon­ded, “Very much so … We can def­in­itely ex­ecute on both prop­er­ties.”

“We would have ab­so­lutely no prob­lem ob­tain­ing the fund­ing to do these jobs, no prob­lem at all,” Aziz con­tin­ued.

Part of Wynn’s prom­ise in Phil­adelphia was to cre­ate the nicest hotel on the East Coast. Aziz said build­ing a sim­il­ar re­sort-casino in Bo­ston would not af­fect the Phil­adelphia pro­ject.

“They’re not too close in prox­im­ity to de­tract from each oth­er. They’re both great sites,” Aziz said.

Aziz stated that many hos­pit­al­ity com­pan­ies work on nu­mer­ous prop­er­ties sim­ul­tan­eously.

It’s not guar­an­teed that Wynn will build either in Bo­ston or Phil­adelphia.

Wynn is com­pet­ing with Caesar’s and Fox­woods for a single casino li­cense avail­able to the Bo­ston met­ro­pol­it­an area. Un­der Mas­sachu­setts law, the res­id­ents of Ever­ett, the town where Wynn’s pro­pos­al is sited, must vote in a ref­er­en­dum to en­dorse Wynn’s pro­ject be­fore it can re­ceive the casino li­cense.

“This type of de­vel­op­ment, if done prop­erly, could gen­er­ate huge eco­nom­ic ex­pan­sion and se­cur­ity for our com­munity,” stated Ever­ett may­or Carlo De­Maria, after learn­ing of Wynn’s in­terest in the Ever­ett site.

De­Maria has since ap­peared at press con­fer­ences with Wynn and Aziz. He and Wynn also par­ti­cip­ated in a re­cent con­fer­ence call where Ever­ett res­id­ents could phone in their ques­tions about the pro­posed casino pro­ject.

Here in Phil­adelphia, Wynn faces com­pet­i­tion from five oth­er ap­plic­ants to for the casino li­cense.

At the Pennsylvania Gam­ing Con­gress, which in­cluded talks by all six ap­plic­ants, Robert Borghese of PHL Gam­ing Loc­al, which is be­hind the pro­posed Casino Re­volu­tion in South Philly, cri­ti­cized the me­dia for fo­cus­ing most of their at­ten­tion on Wynn’s pro­pos­al.

“Doesn’t Phil­adelphia de­serve our own unique casino that … doesn’t look like casi­nos in Las Ve­gas and Bo­ston?” Borghese asked at­tendees.

Without nam­ing names, he stated that such pro­jects have “ab­sent­ee cor­por­ate own­ers” who are “com­fort­ably en­sconced” in their of­fices and have dis­played “fickle­ness and an­ti­pathy to­wards Phil­adelphia.”

Bart Blat­stein, of Tower De­vel­op­ments, which has pro­posed to build the Provence casino in the old Phil­adelphia In­quirer build­ing at 400 N. Broad St., said that Wynn’s pro­posed site – bor­der­ing Fishtown, Olde Rich­mond, and Port Rich­mond – is “in the middle of nowhere.”

Blat­stein is best known in the River Wards for de­vel­op­ing The Piazza at Schmidt’s, at 2nd Street and Ger­man­town Av­en­ue in North­ern Liber­ties, just a mile west of Wynn’s pro­posed site. 

“There’s no people there, east, north or south of it [Wynn’s site]. You can’t get there ex­cept by driv­ing. It’s in the middle of nowhere. It’s not go­ing to do any­thing,” Blat­stein said.

Re­port­er Sam Ne­w­house can be reached at 215-354-3124 or at sne­w­house@bsmphilly.com.

You can reach at snewhouse@bsmphilly.com.

comments powered by Disqus