SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - The Mayor of Springfield and the President of the City Council are at odds over the absence of one sentence in the city's host community agreement with MGM.
Ferrera said there's been some confusion on whether MGM plans to spend less than $800 million, or as much as $851 million.
"So whatever the number is, I think it should be held in the document and incorporated into the document so we the residents of the city of Springfield can hold accountable this developer," said Ferrera.
Mayor Domenic Sarno issued a statement Wednesday night, responding to Councilor Ferrera's request: "While we believe the ultimate cost of the project will be $800 million or more, we are more interested in making sure MGM builds what it promised and we are confident it will."
Mayor Sarno said that Springfield is taking a different approach than other Massachusetts communities by requiring that MGM reveal the details of their construction plans, rather than focus on a number.
Below is Mayor Domenic Sarno's entire statement on the matter:
The heavily negotiated Host Community Agreement between MGM and the City of Springfield includes more extensive safeguards guaranteeing MGM will build a world class casino resort and entertainment destination exactly as MGM promised to the residents of Springfield.
The Host Community Agreement describes in great detail the exact project MGM will build, specifying each of the constituent components including the various project amenities such as hotel, spa, retail, office, residential, back of house, child care center, parks, skating rink, number of restaurants and minimum number of yearly entertainment events.
Further, the Host Community Agreement specifies the minimum square footages for these components. MGM must deliver to the City 50% construction documents and 95% construction documents so that the City can verify compliance with the Host Community Agreement requirements.
In this way, the City knows exactly what MGM will build. Additionally, the Host Community Agreement specifies that the project will be built in accordance with first class standards, which for the avoidance of doubt, is the standard of construction and finish at the MGM Grand Resort in Las Vegas. While we believe the ultimate cost of the project will be $800 million or more, we are more interested in making sure MGM builds what it promised and we are confident it will.
Everett's approach was completely different in that their Host Community Agreement does not obligate the developer to build a specific type of casino resort or what elements will be included in the resort. Instead Everett chose to require a minimum investment by its developer.
While both approaches are reasonable, the City of Springfield chose to have the safeguard of having MGM build what it promised regardless of the cost.