SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - Two companies associated with Springfield businessman Peter Picknelly have proposed to develop a casino on property owned by The Republican newspaper, the paper is reporting.
Publisher and CEO George Arawady told a reporter for The Republican that Picknelly had received a written proposal from two companies associated with Peter Picknelly to sell their Main Street property, and other land by the Connecticut River owned by the paper.
The newspaper has yet to accept the proposal.
In the meantime, the publisher told The Republican that they would not publish any editorials favoring or opposing any casino site.
Robert Schwartz, Executive Vice President of the Picknelly-owned OPAL Real Estate Group sent 22News a statement that did not specifically name any properties in the city, but said:
"We have been contacted by several casino operators interested in properties we own or control. Any plan put forth will contribute to the economic, social and cultural revitalization of the City of Springfield and the region."
22News asked people in Springfield whether they thought that a casino in the downtown area would be good for the city's future.
"I don't see any challenges, but the benefit is people don't have to travel far distances to go to a casino, and we could benefit by people getting jobs," Darian Bazile of Springfield said.
"Traffic from New York City and Hartford, they all get off of the highway down here. It's bad enough now, you don't have anywhere to park- imagine if the casino was there?" said Jose Diaz of Springfield.
Also Wednesday, 22News has learned that $17 million in federal funds has been approved for redeveloping Union Station, which will include a new bus terminal.
Opal Real Estate could not confirm whether the old terminal, located next to the Republican building, would become part of a proposed casino site.