Everett residents on Wednesday night voiced support for the resort casino that casino developer Steve Wynn hopes to bring to their city, though some wanted details about traffic and the design of the tower that would soar above the Mystic River on the site of a former chemical plant.
Wynn, speaking by telephone from Las Vegas in a virtual town hall forum with Everett residents, said the $1.3 billion project, if approved, will boost the city’s economic vitality and improve quality of life.
“We’re going to clean up the dirt [at the site and] widen streets to make traffic flow smoothly,” said Wynn, the creator of iconic hotels on the Las Vegas Strip. “We’re going to line those streets with trees.”
He added that families who come to the Everett resort will be able to shop or eat in restaurants “without ever having to walk through a casino.”
His pitch was greeted enthusiastically by the dozen residents who got through during the conference call to ask questions, but they wanted clarification on a few points. The event involved residents who were called and invited to participate in the forum, which lasted 80 minutes, organizers said.
Asked when more details will be forthcoming about cleanup at the site and design of the tower resort, Wynn said he plans to release additional information next month.
Regarding traffic, Wynn offered few specifics, but said the agreement he reaches with the city will exceed all legal requirements.
Asked if his design will reflect the character of the Boston area, Wynn said the lower levels will have classical architecture, but the high-rise will have a contemporary look with large windows to bring in natural light. He said the hotel could have up to 1,000 rooms.
The 2011 state casino law authorized up to three resort casinos in Massachusetts, no more than one in each of three regions, and one slot machine parlor that can be built in any region. Commercial casino development in Southeastern Massachusetts is on hold to allow the Mashpee Wampanoag time to make progress on a tribal casino in Taunton.
In the Greater Boston region, Wynn’s project will compete against Suffolk Downs in East Boston and its partner Caesars Entertainment and a proposed site in Milford that developer David Nunes is pitching with Foxwoods Resort Casino. As part of the application process, any casino must win the approval of local voters.