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City Council Approves MGM Springfield’s Revised Site Plan

MGM Springfield Casino RedesignThe revised MGM Springfield site plan which was being reviewed by the City Council was finally approved with just one opposing vote. The site plan specifies the proposed design of the casino complex and includes a number of changes to the original proposal including the elimination of a 25-story glass tower.

The city council vote 12-1 in favor of MGM’s casino site plan. It similarly approved the amendments to the host community agreement.

The sole dissenting vote was that of Council President Michael Fenton, who said that although he supports the MGM casino project, he was opposed to some of the changes that were made to the original site plan.

MGM has held several meetings with the city council discussing the plan in detail as well as the changes proposed. There have been a total of five hearings wherein the company has taken the council through its plans regarding the hotel, the casino, the retail and entertainment operations as well as parking.

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In a statement, Mike Mathis, President MGM Springfield said,

We’re very excited about the approval. I think the City Council worked very hard on what really is a complex project. We’re going to get to work tomorrow.

One of the key changes to the original plan is the elimination of a 25-story glass hotel tower. MGM is now proposing to build a four-star six-story hotel instead and has changed its location as well, although retaining the capacity of 250 rooms. Additionally, MGM has received approval to build 54 apartments at market rate downtown, which is within a half mile of the casino. The original proposal was to build the apartments on the casino site.

Some council officials were concerned that the removal of the glass tower might reduce the impact of the casino’s design. But, on the whole, the majority of council members finally decided to agree and support the new amendments as they wanted no further delays.

Many like Councilor Timothy J. Rooke feel that the project has potential to benefit the area significantly as it is the biggest economic development project till date to be proposed in the region. The $950 million casino project by MGM is scheduled to open in September 2018.

The company has already begun the process of demolishing existing buildings on the 14.5 acre site in the South End area. The revisions to the original design for the casino are not expected to affect the construction schedule of the project.

The revised plan now requires final approval from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.


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