Gaming commission holds final meetings on MGM's Springfield prop - CBS 3 Springfield - WSHM

Gaming commission holds final meetings on MGM's Springfield proposal

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A rendering of MGM Springfield's $800 million resort and casino proposal for the city's South End neighborhood. A rendering of MGM Springfield's $800 million resort and casino proposal for the city's South End neighborhood.
A look at what some of MGM Springfield's restaurants will look like. A look at what some of MGM Springfield's restaurants will look like.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission met during a public hearing at the MassMutual Center Tuesday. The Massachusetts Gaming Commission met during a public hearing at the MassMutual Center Tuesday.
SPRINGFIELD, MA (WSHM) -

The state gaming commission will make a final ruling this week on MGM Resorts International's bid to become Massachusetts' first licensed casino operator, with its proposed $800 million project in the city's South End neighborhood.

Beginning Tuesday morning, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission will hold numerous meetings through the end of the week in Springfield and Boston. The commission will review the project's finances, building and site design, potential for economic development and local impacts on the community.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission will hold a final vote Friday at the MassMutual Center.

James McHugh of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission said during the meeting Tuesday that the proposal calls for 3,000 slots machines, with a total of 3,700 gaming positions.

McHugh recommended that MGM work to minimize noise during their construction process and that they upgrade nearby bus shelters. He said that MGM should coordinate with MassDOT and the City of Springfield to make pedestrian and bike improvements to the Interstate 91 underpasses.

McHugh discussed four elements of the site plan, mentioning that the resort is proposed in an area that was devastated by the 2011 tornado that swept across parts of western Mass.

The first element of the plan calls for 55 residences along Main Street and a 250-room hotel, 50 percent of which will be reserved for casino guests, near State Street and East Columbus Avenue. The second element of the plan will include a farmer's market, an ice skating rink and a revitalization of Pynchon Park along the Connecticut River bank.

The third element calls for an upscale cinema, numerous restaurants and a bowling facility while the fourth element, along East Columbus Avenue, will consist of the central heating system for the resort and a multi-story parking garage.

A second story entertainment plaza with shops and restaurants is also included in the plan.

One inquiry that will be discussed over the course of the meetings is whether the gaming commission will take up MGM's request to delay formal "awarding" of the license as the company intends to hold off payment of approximately $200 million in costs and fees that essentially come with the awarding of the license.

MGM proposed a casino, hotel, movie theater and a shopping center on about 15 acres between State and Union streets and East Columbus Avenue and Main Street in between downtown Springfield and the city's South End neighborhood.

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