Wynn Resorts is on the move again in Lower Broadway, purchasing a key piece of land on Dexter Street for $9.2 million from a trust controlled by Joe A. Marchese, just as the Council last week approved an Urban Renewal Plan amendment for the area that excluded the possibility of Eminent Domain takings on Mystic Street.
The area on the eastern side of Lower Broadway, across from the casino, has been the topic of discussion for several years about including accessory uses like hotels or theatres in the future. It seems the future is now, as the City’s Everett Redevelopment Authority (ERA) has been on the move in seeking an Urban Renewal Plan amendment for the district that would create an Everett Entertainment and Destination District.
Wynn Resorts bought a tremendous amount of land on the eastern side of Lower Broadway prior to the casino opening, but then paused on that agenda and created large overflow parking lots that the City of Everett has operated over the past couple of years. Now, Wynn Resorts seems to be in the buying mood again and poised to develop, or work with another developer, to begin changing the landscape across the street.
In a recent property transaction, an LLC controlled by Wynn Resorts purchased 12 Dexter St., a nearly one acre property that used to house an auto repair shop, but is mostly vacant land and is uninhabited by any businesses now. The property is owned by Dexter Street Realty Trust, which is controlled by Joseph A. Marchese, according to property records.
Wynn Resorts paid $9.2 million for the property, according to property transfer records.
That all feeds into a greater Urban Renewal Plan (URP) amendment that has been circulating around City Hall, and drew great controversy over the past month. That controversy came from three private properties included in the amendment that would have been potentially taken by Eminent Domain from the owners – one of the being a home with several apartments. At a meeting two weeks ago, the property owners and several Councilors expressed reservation about approving the plan to potentially take properties from long-time residents and business owners, and give them to the casino.
City officials said they didn’t intend to take those properties, but were just reserving the right so that in the future that could be exercised if it became necessary.
The focus of the plan, however, and the Eminent Domain measures, are on the large Station Parcel – which is the old power plant parcel that is no longer in use and has a massive amount of waterfront exposure.
At a Special Meeting of the Council on July 8, the URP was back up for consideration, and the Council did end up passing the matter by a 10-0 vote, but not without some revisions.
Relying on help from the City Solicitor, the Council removed the Eminent Domain taking provisions for the three private Mystic Street properties, but kept the provision for the Station Parcel.
Many councilors at the meeting said they could not vote for anything that involved taking private property by force from residents or small business owners.
“I can’t support taking people’s property for the casino – telling them to get out of here because we want this spot now,” said Councilor Jimmy Tri Le. “But if this isn’t going to hurt any of these residents and business owners, I can go along with it.”