Las Vegas developer Wynn Resorts has closed on land in Everett that the company had long sought to buy from the MBTA, a purchase that will allow the casino company to use its preferred design for the entrance to its $1.6 billion gambling resort, according to Wynn Resorts.
The purchase price is $6 million for three small parcels at the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority Everett Shops facility adjacent to Wynn’s development site off Broadway and Horizon Way, near the Boston city line.
“The process of building Wynn Everett is moving forward exactly as planned,” said Robert DeSalvio, president of Wynn Everett, in a statement issued Tuesday. “After an extended period of public process and due diligence, we’re checking off the boxes and hitting the milestones we need to hit.”
Completing the sale is a substantial milestone for the Wynn project. Company officials have had their eye on the MBTA land since 2013, primarily to allow traffic better access into the casino from Broadway.
The state gambling commission last September chose Wynn’s casino plan over a proposal by Mohegan Sun at Suffolk Downs in Revere.
Opponents of the Wynn development, such as Mayor Dan Rizzo of Revere, tried to block the T’s land sale to Wynn. Rizzo wrote to Governor Charlie Barker’s administration last month to ask the Department of Transportation to halt the sale, due to a “fundamentally flawed” procurement process.
Rizzo reiterated his criticism in a statement on Tuesday, saying it is “discouraging to see yet another decision made without public input, or even a process that would normally be followed by any entity other than Wynn.”
MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo said in an e-mail that “the process was transparent and completely fair.” He noted that the MBTA conducted a public bidding by posting Wynn’s unsolicited offer for the land last year, and inviting other parties to submit better offers.
“No competing/better offers were submitted,” he wrote.
The sale of the MBTA land is among a number of issues Mayor Martin Walsh raised in a Boston lawsuit against the gambling commission, filed in January in Suffolk Superior Court. The suit asked the court to void the commission’s choice of Wynn as the winner of the Greater Boston resort casino license.
Walsh argued that without the MBTA land, casino patrons would arrive by driving on Horizon Way, part of which is in Boston. If patrons arrived through Boston, the city said, the casino would be partly in Boston and the city, by law, should have the right to vote on whether the project would be allowed to move forward. The city has made similar arguments to the gambling commission, which were rejected.