SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - Plans for an $800 million resort-style casino in Springfield's South End include a hotel tower that would be among the city's tallest buildings, nearly 90,000 feet of gaming space,a 12-screen cinema, and a new trolley system.
Las Vegas-based casino company MGM released plans for the site on Wednesday.
They announced that they also submitted their $400,000 application fee to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission. The fee is not due until later this year, but MGM Resorts CEO Jim Murren says they wanted to get it in now as a sign of their commitment to Springfield.
The $800 million dollar gambling resort, entertainment complex and housing development would be set next to the highway, I-91, to Main Street from State Street to Union Street.
Representatives of nearby colleges attended the unveiling Wednesday, hoping to hear of ways their students can benefit.
"We think there's a great opportunity, especially for our students in the way of internships and other educational opportunities for them," said Vince Maniaci, President of American International College .
The most visible part of the project will be a 25-story, 250 room hotel, located at 73 State Street, across from the Hampden County Hall of Justice.
Other features that the proposed 12-acre casino complex would contain are:
- 89,000 square feet of gaming space
- 50,000 square feet of restaurant space
- 12,000 square feet of retail space
- 40,000 square feet of banquet & meeting space
- 5,000 covered parking spaces
- A 10,000 square foot pool and spa
- A 50,000 square foot, 12-screen cinema
- A 20,000 square foot bowling alley
- An outdoor stage for live entertainment
Another part of their proposal would be to link the casino with downtown destinations through a trolley system, a relic of Springfield's past that has been gone for decades. One thing that the proposal notably does not include is the creation of a new entertainment arena, with developers saying that they want to make use of current downtown facilities like the MassMutual Center and Symphony Hall for those purposes.
Additional details of MGM's plans for the resort casino can be found on their new website, mgmspringfield.com
Murren says that he intends for the project to improve the downtown area, and make Springfield a better, more attractive, and safer place.
"We can help improve public safety, we can help improve the quality of life, we can revitalize downtown by knitting these already great assets you have together with something we also think will be great in and of itself," Murren said.
MGM, of course, is not the only company interested in building a resort casino in Springfield. Other developers have been interested in Springfield's North End , and the Westinghouse site in East Springfield .
Mohegan Sun has proposed building a casino on land it owns in Palmer, and there has also been a proposal for a casino in Westfield.
MGM has been searching for a new site since abandoning plans earlier in the year to develop a casino in Brimfield.
Under the state's casino gambling law, the state gaming commission can license one resort-style casino in the western Massachusetts zone, which includes all of Hampden, Hampshire, Franklin, and Berkshire counties.