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Danvers selectmen to talk slots parlor with developers Wednesday

Posted by Marcia Dick  February 5, 2013 10:22 PM

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Steven A. Rosenberg

Gardner S. Trask, III, Town Clerk Joseph L. Collins, William H. Clark Jr,, and Keith G. Lucy at Tuesday night's meeting.

Danvers selectmen will meet with representatives of the Cordish Companies on Wednesday to discuss the company’s interest in building a slots parlor at the Liberty Tree Mall.

A total of three meetings with the Baltimore-based gambling company are planned for the five-member board. Selectmen will meet in pairs, and one will meet alone with the company in order to not violate the state’s Open Meeting Law. The briefings will be held at Danvers Town Hall.

Last month, PPE Casino Resorts – owned by Cordish – applied for one of the four gambling licenses that the state will award in the next year. In its nonrefundable $400,000 application, PPE did not specify a location or a preference to build a casino or a slots parlor. Three full casino licenses – in the Boston area and southern and western parts of the state – are at stake, along with a slots-only parlor that can be built anywhere in Massachusetts.

Selectmen had expected to discuss the proposal at its meeting Tuesday night but decided to wait in order to hear from the casino representatives in person. While PPE has had several conversations with Danvers officials, the company has yet to submit an official plan.

Rough details, however, are known: the location would be at the former Sports Authority at the rear of the Liberty Tree Mall; the parlor would have 1,250 slot machines and would be housed in a 100,000-square-foot gambling hall. The project would require expanding the mall and constructing a new parking garage.

Danvers Town Manager Wayne Marquis also said PPE was still considering another location for the slots parlor and may not submit a proposal to the town. “I do know they’re not both on the North Shore,” Marquis said, of the two locations the company was considering.

Any gambling facility would require local approval through a special referendum. The state is expected to award a slots parlor license in the fall. The three casino licenses will be awarded next winter.

Steven A. Rosenberg can be reached at srosenberg@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @WriteRosenberg.

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