Wynn Everett officials unveiled a first look at the new
design of its Lower Broadway casino last Thursday at the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) meeting, showing an outside view of a building that was much more like the curvy, bronze Wynn Encore resort in Las Vegas than its previous straight up and down tower for Everett.
While it was expected that Steve Wynn would personally unveil his new conceptual designs, which are reported to be a collaboration between Wynn, Roger Thomas (Wynn executive VP of design) and DeRuyter Butler (Wynn executive VP of architecture), that did not take place.
Instead of complete floor plans and renderings of the entire project, Wynn Everett officials chose to unveil only the new exterior rendering – which was much more like a Wynn signature Las Vegas design that the earlier tower design that the MGC rejected in September.
Bob DeSalvio of Wynn Everett said the remaining designs are still under consideration, and will be unveiled in the near future.
“The floor plans and other elevations are in Las Vegas where designers are reviewing the layouts,” said DeSalvio. “Final floor plans will come at a later date. The design team is currently working on renderings for the interiors. They want to look at the spaces in their proper context. They might make a model to do that so they can observe how those spaces work.”
Other changes, though not visual, were revealed.
Due to the new design being larger, DeSalvio said they have gone from around 550 hotel rooms to approximately 629 rooms.
“The increase in rooms will add jobs, some housekeeping and some supervisors,” he said. “For the most part, the jobs increase will mostly be in the housekeeping and supervisory areas.”
Also, the waterfront nightclub that would have sat at the tip of the retail esplanade on the banks of the Mystic River has largely been scrapped in favor of a function space and meeting room area.
“The folks in Las Vegas helped us think though the way to approach the outdoor space and green area and how we want to use that,” he said.
“We have removed [the nightclub] from the plan,” he continued. “We felt having the meeting areas in that spot would have more use.”
Instead of the nightclub, DeSalvio said they would likely have a dual use for the Andrea’s Restaurant proposed for the resort. That restaurant would be transformed into a nightclub style entertainment space after a certain hour, he said.
Another revelation was the fact that the project has chopped off 300 parking spaces from the garage, going from 3,700 spaces to 3,400.
DeSalvio said that was directly due to comments they received during the environmental review – comments that urged them to call for more promotion of mass transit and less reliance on parking for vehicles.
“Comments we got in the FEIR asked us to take a look at how to encourage more mass transit,” DeSalvio said. “We wanted to be very responsive to the comments we received.”
Commissioners received the peek into the new design very well, making all positive comments.
“It looks great,” said MGC Chair Steve Crosby. “It’s a major improvement over the design from before. This is going to be incredible visually for most people…Hopefully it will be more visible than the windmill nearby…It’s exciting and something to be proud of.”
Said Commissioner Enrique Zuniga, “I think it’s really iconic.”
Commissioner Jim McHugh – who was instrumental in calling for a different design – said he liked what he saw so far.
“I’m happy our request to re-think the design has been taken so seriously and has resulted in a different approach to this,” he said.
The next milestone in the process is expected to be the release of the final environmental report, which will focus exclusively on traffic remediation. That process has been underway since the license was awarded in September and is expected by Jan. 30.