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Everett businesses clearing out for Wynn casino

Chris Tkach (left) of Idle Hands Craft Ales watches as Jay Sullivan of Cambridge Brewing Company samples an Enlightenment Ale at Cambridge Brewing in Kendall Square in 2012.The Boston Globe

Wynn Resorts’ proposal to build a $1.7 billion casino complex on the banks of the Mystic River is bogged down in political, legal, and regulatory challenges. But the Las Vegas company is making progress on at least one front: clearing out businesses from an Everett commercial building that’s blocking a planned access road into the casino property.

Wynn Resorts bought the Charlton Place Small Business Center in mid-February for an undisclosed sum. Wynn told 27 small companies leasing space there to move by the end of June, when Wynn plans to raze the building to allow construction vehicles access onto the main casino site. Wynn Resorts does not need to demolish any other structures to build the casino complex, a spokesman said.


The spokesman said the company hasn’t collected any rent from Charlton Place tenants since buying the building, and all but four have found new locations. PlanetTran , a limousine company in the building, was the only tenant with a formal lease, according to the spokesman. He said Wynn is negotiating with the limo company to buy out the lease and hopes to demolish the building by the end of the summer.

Managers at PlanetTran could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Among the businesses still looking for new homes is the microbrewer Idle Hands Craft Ales LLC. The four-year-old company plans to close its production facility and tasting room at the Charlton Street building next week, though it said it would not immediately lay off any of its five employees.

Chris Tkach, the brewery’s founder and owner, said he is in negotiations to lease another space nearby, which he declined to identify. The new facility would be a “vast improvement” over the cramped Everett brewery, he said, featuring an expanded tasting room and a brewery with three times the capacity of the old one.

Tkach said he was planning a move to a larger facility before Wynn bought the building because of growing demand. Idle Hands produced 400 barrels of beer last year and was on track to hit 500 or 550 this year — still tiny compared to outfits like Harpoon Brewery, which makes more than 200,000 barrels annually.


“I’m ready to move on and find a better location where we can really build out Idle Hands,” Tkach, 42, said. “We’re dying to spread our wings.”

Tkach, however, said he wished that Wynn had given the company more time to relocate. “Four months isn’t nearly enough time,” he said.

In a statement, Wynn said that it “has worked closely with the tenants of Three Charlton Place since February, including rent abatement, financial assistance of up to $10,000, and flexible relocation timelines.”

Some companies were happy to move.

Renato Fabbri, owner of Marble and Polish Inc., said he got more than three months of free rent and $10,000 from Wynn Resorts to help him relocate to Malden in May.

Wynn had offered up to $10,000 to any business that relocated before June.

“They’ve been very good to me,” Fabbri said. “We had plenty of time.”

Another company in the building, Radical Radiator Restorations, is temporarily closed, but it hopes to reopen, according to a recorded message.

STS Custom Cycles said on its Facebook page that it was in the process of moving to a new garage on Bow Street in Everett. STS officials couldn’t be reached Tuesday.


While Wynn Resorts appears to be on track to demolish the Charlton Place building, it has run into delays elsewhere.

A parcel of land the company needs for access to the casino is stuck in escrow because the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, which had owned it, improperly transferred the property to the casino company before a state environmental review was complete. The state is also pushing Wynn Resorts to come up with a plan to lessen the impact of casino-bound traffic on the clogged streets of Charlestown. But Boston officials recently skipped a scheduled meeting about the traffic problem, citing the city’s pending lawsuit over the Wynn casino.

Jon Chesto of the Globe staff contributed to this report.
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