Three years after Everett residents overwhelmingly backed a casino plan from Las Vegas developer Steve Wynn, city officials have issued a building permit to Wynn Resorts for a $2 billion casino and hotel complex on the Mystic River.
“The people of Everett have eagerly awaited this day for years,” said Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria. “This is a major milestone for Wynn and another positive step forward for Everett and beyond.”
The permit was never much in doubt for the massive project, which will include extensive environmental cleanup of the 33-acre property.
But it signifies that Wynn is poised to begin construction of a vast casino and 24-story curved-glass hotel — if it clears one last regulatory hurdle.
Earlier this year, crews were forced to stop removing contaminants from the long-condemned site when the City of Somerville appealed the state’s approval of an environmental permit for Wynn’s waterfront project.
In the appeal, Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone asserts that Wynn Resorts must do more to offset the casino’s environmental impact, particularly increased traffic, before the permit can become final.
A hearing for Somerville’s appeal is scheduled for June 2.
The building permit triggered a $5 million payment from Wynn Resorts to Everett, the first installment of a $30 million commitment from the casino.
Everett will receive the money before the casino’s opening, now scheduled for late 2018.
Officials say the casino will be the largest private single-phase development in the state’s history.
“This is just the beginning of an economic rocket that will yield benefits to the city, and the region, for generations to come,” Robert DeSalvio, president of Wynn Boston Harbor, said in a statement.