The MGM Springfield’s revised site plan application has been deemed complete paving the way for the $950 casino project proposal to be reviewed by the City council and public hearing, according to an announcement on Monday by city officials.
The announcement comes after MGM Springfield’s development arm, Blue Tarp Redevelopment LLC, was sent a “determination of incomplete application,” last month by the city’s director of planning, Philip Dromey.
Per the city’s zoning requirements, now that the plans have been determined to be complete, a public hearing on the plans must be scheduled by the City Council within 45 days. Philip Dromey, the city’s deputy director of planning, said that the council will have the power to vote on conditions and amendments once the public hearing is held, according to Mass Live.
The application was returned after the city was notified by MGM Springfield of its proposed 14 percent reduction in size of the overall casino project, which was actually determined to be 9.71 percent. That followed a prior notification of change by MGM to eliminate a 25-story hotel tower and replace it with a six-story hotel maintaining the same 250 rooms. The downsizing was due to changes to the hotel plans and the need for less elevator-related space. However, the larger part was due to a lessening of back-of-the-house operations, according to MGM.
In order for the site plan submission to be considered, MGM Springfield was required to submit numerous documents and explain how the proposed project changes meet certain specified criteria. Those requirements were in response to questions raised by the city’s internal staff and consultants, according to City Solicitor Edward Pikula, and City Chief Development Officer Kevin Kennedy. Arrival of the plan application has been awaited by city counselors so that the review can progress. The City Council and Mayor Domenic J. Sarno both need to approve any substantial changes to the design.
Last Wednesday at CityStage in Springfield officials from MGM publically presented its latest plans, and explained the major changes to the project. They also announced a $150 million increase in the project’s cost. Those same details will be presented by them to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission on December 3.
The project that is considered to be the largest private development in generations for the western portion of Massachusetts has been delayed to late 2018 mainly due to a highway project going on in the area. In addition, the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes of neighboring Connecticut who run competing casinos were authorized by the state to open a third tribal casino near the border.