The City of Malden reached in principal a Surrounding Community Agreement with Mohegan Sun on Tuesday, according to Mayor Gary Christenson.
The city has 30 days to complete the "fine tuning" of the Surroung Community Agreement before it can be finalized, according to Christenson. Before the agreement is finalized, the Malden City Council needs to review and approve it, as well as get the mayor's signature.
After having "comprehensive discussions" with Mohegan Sun, Malden wasn't the only city to reach an agreement with the casino, as six other communities did too, including Cambridge, Chelsea, Lynn, Medford, Melrose and Salem. In October 2013, Malden also reached a Surrounding Community Agreement with Wynn Resorts which hopes to build a casino in Everett.
Mohegan Sun is currently seeking a license to develop a world-class casino resort in Revere. The proposal calls for two hotels to be built, and there would be dining, shopping and entertainment amenities on 42 of Suffolk Downs’ 52 acres in Revere, adds the statement.
The resort casino will feature 5,000 gaming positions, a total of 500 hotel rooms, 170,000 square feet of floor space and a 10,000 square foot spa, reads the statement.
"The agreements...will provide significant economic and community benefits along with local impact payments that total $3.75 million among the seven municipalities," reads the statement. "The agreements also ensure that small businesses in these communities will have access to millions of dollars in annual spending by the proposed $1.3 billion development and that residents in these communities will be given job opportunities at Mohegan Sun Massachusetts and have access to job training programs and problem gambling services."
Christenson said the agreement "calls for a $600,000 annual community impact payment which could go up depending upon the gaming revenue generated at the Mohegan Sun development."
The mayor said the city "took matters into our own hands" by seeking out Wynn Resorts and Mohegan Sun, both of which are looking to develop a casino nearby.
"What we could have done is left it to the Gaming Commission to determine whether or not we were a surrounding community," Christenson said. "They might have determined that, they might not have determined that, but us reaching an agreements with two developers prevents us from having to have the Gaming Commission make that call.
"By being aggressive and reaching out to both of the developers I feel that Malden is in a good position to address whatever impacts may occur as a result of either development."
While there is a stipulation in the Wynn Resorts agreement that calls for Malden residents to be second to Everett when the time comes to hire a combined 8,700 construction and casino workers, Christenson said he doesn't anticipate that being a part of the Mohegan Sun agreement.
Currently, Mohegan Sun spends nearly $500 million each year on goods and services from local vendors near its Connecticut and Pennsylvania facilities, according to the statement.
"We are pleased to announce these agreements, which represent an important step in our efforts to develop an incredible destination that will benefit the entire region with the creation of new jobs, economic development and tourism opportunities," said Mitchell Etess, CEO of the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority, in the statement. "Each of these communities have been a great neighbor to Revere and Suffolk Downs, and these agreements illustrate Mohegan Sun Massachusetts’ commitment to work in partnership with our neighboring communities."
Mohegan Sun Massachusetts anticipates spending about $50 million annually on goods and services from businesses located within a 15-mile radius of Revere once the resort is fully operating, according to the statement. Similarly, MSM expects to create 4,000 jobs and has committed to hiring 75 percent of its workforce within the same 15-mile radius, adds the statement.
As part of the agreement, Mohegan Sun is committed to regional economic development and benefits, such as the cross marketing of tourist attractions and cultural institutions in these communities, and providing local businesses with access to vendor opportunities and the casino's players club points program, according to the statement. Mohegan Sun has also agreed to fund approximately $1 million in additional study and design of regional traffic solutions not related to the impacts of the proposed resort, the statement adds.
Mohegan Sun has also designated Boston, Saugus and Winthrop as surrounding communities and is continuing discussions with those municipalities, reads the statement.
Originally posted at 5:06 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 28.