This month, Covington Realty Partners of St. Louis presented plans to build 194 residential units on another Revere Beach parcel. And the Wonderland Ballroom’s ownership group is talking with the city about putting a hotel on that site if a casino is approved for nearby Suffolk Downs.
For some area business owners, it’s still too soon to buy property since the casino’s location is an open question. But it’s not too soon to do research.
Gina Walker, owner of North Shore Shuttle, said her company would eagerly scale up to help transport guests between hotels and a casino. That would mean expanding a fleet of nearly 100 vehicles and finding additional parking space.
“We’re doing our due diligence” in researching potential properties, she said, declining to give specifics about where she’s looking.
Revere florist Kerri Abrams expects she’d need more warehouse space if she were to win vendor contracts for weddings and other functions at a Suffolk Downs casino. She’s not buying or leasing yet, but she’s investigating what’s available.
“I’m at the point of thinking about how to grow,” said Abrams, owner of Kinship Floral. “I haven’t really checked prices yet because I’m not there yet because [the casino] is not there yet. But [I’m starting] to think about it and make a master plan.”
While some developers are buying options, others are splitting the distance between proposed casino sites. Chelsea, where the Route 16 corridor connects Revere and Everett, is attracting developers whose projects will likely be located no more than a few miles from a casino in either direction.
Since March, developers have signed agreements for at least two Chelsea properties that are likely slated for hotel development, D’Ambrosio said. One is at 285 Central Ave.; the other is near the Carter Street exit off Route 1.
“Hotels are clearly being contemplated because of the casino buzz,” D’Ambrosio said. “Whether a casino goes in at Suffolk Downs or a little further up the street in Everett, the Chelsea hotels will be situated in between to service either one.”
Others are pressing ahead with plans to build no matter where a casino is. Revere Beach is ripe for new upscale development either way, Rizzo said. The city will continue to expedite permitting and consider tax incentives in efforts to bring hotel projects to fruition.
“The casino would be another feather in our cap,” Rizzo said. “At that point, the city may not need to entice a developer with tax credits.”
G. Jeffrey MacDonald can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.