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Everett mayor backtracks on Wynn lease agreement

Mayor Carlo DeMaria Jr. of Everett said Thursday that he spoke too soon when he stated at a public meeting earlier this week that Las Vegas casino ­mogul Steve Wynn had entered into a lease with the owners of a 37-acre parcel on the Mystic ­River to build a $1 billion resort casino.

In a written statement, DeMaria said he had referred to “a lease that was entered into by Wynn Resorts and the private property owners of the former Monstanto site in the City of Everett.”

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“To clarify my remarks,” the mayor said, “it is my understanding there are ongoing, exclu­sive discussions between the parties and a right of first ­refusal for the site. Developments continue to progress daily, and I’m excited by these prospects.”

The Globe reported Thursday that DeMaria stated at a public meeting Tuesday that Wynn had secured a lease for the property and would submit a casino appli­cation with the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.

“I know they have a lease for 14 months and, if successful with the license, will negotiate a purchase and sale agreement,” DeMaria told about 300 residents who attended the meeting.

He also stated: “We believe Wynn will put in an application . . . What we do now is negotiate a host agreement.”

The state gambling commission has set a Jan. 15 deadline for developers to apply for three casino licenses available for Eastern, Southeastern, and Western Massachusetts.

The Wynn group is scheduled to meet this week with staff at the commission to review its organizational structure for a proposed casino, said Elaine Driscoll, the commission spokeswoman.

She declined further comment Thursday.

DeMaria toured the former Monsanto chemical factory site last month with Wynn. At Tuesday’s meeting,

DeMaria told residents that Wynn is considering a 24-hour resort casino, with a hotel, restaurants, shops, nightclubs, and possibly convention space.

The development would generate $20 million to $30 million in annual tax revenue, the mayor said.

In his statement Thursday, DeMaria said he would not comment on property agreements. “Further questions regarding private agreements can be ­addressed directly by the parties,” he said.

A Wynn ­Resorts spokesman did not ­return a call Thursday.

The former Monsanto site is owned by FBT Realty, an affiliate of the DeNunzio Realty Group of Cambridge. Dustin J. DeNunzio, a principal with the firm, could not be reached Thursday.

But in an earlier interview with the Globe, DeNunzio would not comment directly on lease negotiations but said the firm “would release something when the time is right.”

Kathy McCabe can be reached at kmccabe@globe.com.
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