Construction officials for Wynn Design & Development told the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) on Monday that they expect to be officially completed with the Encore Boston Harbor building by June 1 and expect to get the final Certificate of Occupancy from Everett by June 10.
“We have approximately 35 days to get our temporary Certificate of Occupancy by June 10 and I’m pleased to say we’re on schedule,” said Peter Campot of Wynn Design & Development.
“What we plan to do is have it completely done by June 1,” he continued. “That allows the operations team enough time to be ready for the opening. Half of the restaurants have been accepted by the Health Inspector. The rest of them, except two, will be inspected this week. The next week we’ll catch up. Retail spaces on the promenade are on schedule to be done…We are in good shape and expect to be done by June 1. That gives us plenty of time before opening.”
Campot gave the MGC a complete rundown of the status of most every corner of the building.
He said right now the main thing they are doing is finishing up punch-list items and doing testing of the fire alarms and power plants.
Some of the biggest work going on is the landscaping outside, which has been challenging this spring with the colder weather and rain.
“It will look fantastic,” he said. “We planted more than 700 large trees. We’ve re-planted the non-surviving trees that didn’t make it through the winter.”
In addition, several spaces will have turf laid down next week, transforming the area.
Other updates include:
•The docks for boats and water shuttles are 100 percent complete. Encore water shuttles will begin to take test runs in mid-May.
•The bottom three levels of the garage are 100 percent complete and the first floor – where they are storing construction materials – will be completed in two weeks.
•The gaming floor is coming along. There are 3,109 slot machines installed out of the 3,130 that are planned. All 143 non-poker gaming tables are set up, and 16 of the 88 poker tables are set.
“When you walk through the gaming floor now, it looks like a casino,” said Campot. “The function areas are being punch-listed and they are essentially done. You walk there and it’s a beautiful space and ready for opening right now.”
•The tower/hotel component has been furnished all the way to the 27th floor, and less than 12 glass panels need to be worked on.
•The permanent power plant was tested last weekend. A major milestone, it is expected to be accepted and approved next week.
•All of the retail stores in the resort are leased and will be filled and completed on time for the opening.
•There are about 20 elevators and escalators that need to be approved by the state inspectors.
•The battery power system that was touted by Encore as being a major power-saving feature will not be ready for the opening. Senior Vice President Jacqui Krum said they had a problem with the placement of the batteries.
“We’ve run into some issues with the battery plant and where it goes,” she said. “We need to look at alternative areas for placement of that facility.”
•When it comes to the hiring process, Krum said they are working fervently and have about 930 to 1,150 people on board right now. They expect to have the entire hiring process completed by May 31. She said 5,200 of the 5,800 positions (90 percent) have been filled, but many are in the process of being approved/licensed by the MGC and getting onboarded with the company.
“We’ll have a mass orientation in the coming weeks and trainings ongoing up until the opening,” she said.
Schedule for Off-Site Roadway Improvements on track
Encore Senior Vice President Jacqui Krum said several key off-site road projects are on schedule despite the challenging weather this spring, and they expect to be moving very fast in the next few weeks from Sullivan Square to Wellington.
She told the MGC on Monday they have four separate components of the off-site work that they are focusing on, including Lower Broadway, Rt. 16/Wellington/Sweetser, Malden/Wellington MBTA, and Sullivan Square.
•Lower Broadway – The work schedule picks up on Lower Broadway next week when they begin doing major landscaping and final paving of the roads. Sidewalk work has been going on this past week on the side streets and striping of the roads will be the last week in May.
She said they will test the traffic signals in June, and that includes an interconnect that runs to the City of Boston Traffic Control Center. That interconnect allows Boston’s Traffic Center – located in Boston City Hall – to manually control the signals on Lower Broadway if there are major traffic jams and disturbances observed.
The problems with fixing Robin and Dexter Streets that popped up last fall have been smoothed over and are now nearly completed. That area will serve as a truck route to get large trucks off of Lower Broadway.
•Rt. 16/Wellington/Sweetser – paving operations will begin this week in those areas and striping the streets will begin May 13. Sweetser Circle will be a little later on paving – likely May 13 – due to some ongoing work by the state on the bridge.
•Malden/Wellington MBTA – those projects were reported to be complete.
•Sullivan Square – paving at Sullivan Square began on Monday night. Traffic signals will be activated and tested on May 14 and striping of the streets will be next week. Landscaping will be next week, and it is expected that would take only a few days.
They expect to have the Square fully landscaped by May 24.