Wynn Resorts and Boston Exchange Nastygrams Over Sullivan Square
The war of words between Boston City Hall and Wynn Resorts over the planned $1.7 billion casino in Everett is escalating as the two sides expand their slap fight to curt letters.
On Monday, Boston Transportation Commissioner Gina Fiandaca sent a letter to Wynn Resorts Senior Vice President Robert DeSalvio chastising the company for reportedly never submitting an application to the city’s Public Improvement Commission. Wynn, as a condition of its casino license, is required to complete and file all kinds of paperwork as they move forward with construction. One of those conditions included an application with the PIC for plans to improve the notoriously congested and poorly designed Sullivan Square area.
“This letter confirms that Wynn has never submitted an application to the PIC,” said Fiandaca.
Fiandaca blasted Wynn in the letter saying that the company misrepresented its interactions with the city in public meetings of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission. The commissioner did acknowledge that Wynn has submitted some paperwork to the PIC but deemed it woefully insufficient, describing it as “at best, merely an update on its continually evolving proposals for the area.”
DeSalvio fired back on Tuesday with a letter Tuesday that said Wynn was following the proper four-step procedure for filing an application with the PIC. DeSalvio, pegging the cost of Wynn’s plans for Sullivan Square at $35,895,000-$55,895,000, argued that Wynn has done what it needs to do to satisfy the first three steps of the process and that it was willing to meet with the city’s legal counsel at any time to discuss its plans for Sullivan Square in order to satisfy the fourth step.
“As noted above, the steps should be taken ‘generally’ in the noted sequential order and, typically, the Public Improvement Commission and the applicant work closely to coordinate. This has historically been a collaborative process. We remain available to meet at anytime to move this forward. Please propose some dates and times,” said DeSalvio.
This exchange is right on the heels of the city’s upping the ante on its lawsuit against the Massachusetts Gaming Commission for awarding Wynn its license. The two sides recently met, but it was not the must fruitful meeting according to those in the know. It’s unclear if or when Boston and Wynn will meet again, if ever. Meetings between the two have been reportedly unproductive for months.
In its reloaded lawsuit, Boston called the MGC “corrupt” and called for an entirely new commission to handle the issuance of the eastern Massachusetts casino license. Boston’s original lawsuit focused on the MGC’s refusal to designate Boston as a host community, something that would have guaranteed a hefty annual mitigation payment from Wynn. Due to the ongoing dispute, the city refused a $1 million mitigation payment from Wynn in January, something Wynn officials said that they were not expecting.
Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh has insisted throughout this dispute that it is about “respect” for Boston and not dollar signs. Walsh has suggested that no amount of money at this point in its relationship with Wynn could convince them to withdraw their lawsuit.
The city will get its day in court on July 9 at Suffolk Superior Court, when a judge will decide whether or not Boston’s lawsuit against the MGC can move forward.