The City Council voted by an 8-1 margin to allow for the rezoning of a site on Broadway across from Encore Boston Harbor that will be used for expansion purposes while bringing millions of dollars in additional tax revenue to the City of Everett.
Chris Gordon, president of Wynn Resorts Development, joined Matt Lattanzi, director of the Everett planning and development department, in an appearance before the Council Monday to discuss the zoning ordinance and proposed project which will expand the Encore overlay district.
Lattanzi spoke of the increased tax revenues for Everett for the proposed new development that would potentially bring two new hotels, restaurants, an entertainment event venue, retail stores, a parking garage, and a pedestrian bridge to Broadway.
“The two hotels would bring in roughly $10.8 million in additional taxes, in addition to roughly $3 million in room taxes,” said Lattanzi, while noting there will be other tax revenue for Everett as well.
Councillor Darren Costa asked about the potential for increased traffic in the area.
“There’s a traffic mitigation program we put in place,” said Gordon. “We’re adding several turning lanes. We’re adding a dedicated turning lane. It will allow people to take right-hand turns much more easily. There’s a signalization optimalization that’s going to go on.”
Noting the MGC’s recent granting of a sports betting license to Encore, Councillor-at-Large Mike Marchese asked about the potential negotiation of a plan for Everett to receive “a percentage of the actual gaming [in-person and on-line sports betting and other gaming] that occurs on that piece of property.”
“All options are certainly on the table,” said Lattanzi. “We have not yet begun true negotiations what a host community agreement, or a revised agreement could look like. We are going to start internally with these conversations this week.”
Councilor Stephanie Martins requested information about the possible renegotiation of the current host agreement that exists with Everett.
“Is the casino agreeable to renegotiating the host agreement versus the other option?” Martins asked.
“We have to know sort of what the parameters are, but to broadly, what I would say, we know we’re going to be paying additional taxes, so how that gets structured, we’re open to sit down and talk about it,” said Gordon.
Lattanzi said if there were a new host agreement being negotiated, the parties at the negotiating table would include the mayor, the mayor’s chief of staff, the city solicitor, the CFO, and himself.
Martins said she would like to include the Everett police chief and fire chief in the renegotiating process.
The five-star Encore Boston Harbor resort and casino has been a success story for the City of Everett and Mayor Carlo DeMaria, who first launched the proposal to bring a world-class casino to the city. Business at the resort is booming, and sports bettors may soon be able to wager on this year’s Super Bowl at the sportsbook.
Councilor Wayne Matewsky spoke enthusiastically about Encore’s ongoing financial benefit to the city and its proposed expansion.
“I’m going to vote for this rezoning,” said Matewsky. “It’s passed all the various boards. Our community development director has supported it. It’s the right thing to do. Let’s move this forward. Let’s vote in favor of this tonight.”