Planned Encore Boston Harbor Addition Halted Due to Dispute with City

Posted on: May 15, 2024, 12:02h. 

Last updated on: May 15, 2024, 12:11h.

A proposed expansion of the Encore Boston Harbor has been postponed indefinitely due to a disagreement between casino officials and city leaders over fees and taxes.

Encore Boston Harbor
Encore Boston Harbor, pictured above. A planned addition has been postponed. (Image: Encore Boston Harbor)

The first phase of the expansion was to include 142K square feet of additional floor space. The addition was to be located across from the existing gaming complex in Everett, Mass.

Wynn Disappointed

The delay was revealed in a Wynn Resorts earning call last week. Wynn CEO Craig Billings called the stoppage “disappointing,” but says the company has “numerous other development projects globally where we can redirect the capital we intended to deploy in Boston.”

The $400M addition would include more entertainment, restaurants, and gaming facilities. It was expected to include a 979-seat theater, as well as a seven-story parking garage with more than 2,000 spaces for vehicles. The addition would also include a poker room and a sports betting parlor.

The Memoire nightclub would be relocated from the current casino building to the addition. A pedestrian skywalk would connect the existing complex to the addition.

Negotiations Fail

“We remain optimistic about the project fulfilling the city’s and our shared goal of developing an exciting and vibrant destination district on Lower Broadway with restaurants, hotels, theaters, and other recreational uses,” Wynn Resorts said in a recent statement to Massachusetts TV station WBTS.

However, it has become apparent that we are unable to negotiate an agreement with the City of Everett regarding property taxes, impact fees, and infrastructure improvements in a timely fashion. Until these issues are addressed with a financially viable resolution we have a responsibility to our shareholders, and cannot continue to incur project costs.”

A planned second phase would also include two additional hotel towers with 800 guestrooms at the Encore property. Encore currently has 671 hotel rooms, which are commonly sold out on weekends.

Everett city officials didn’t provide an immediate comment in response to the company statements.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) announced last week that it’s aware of the project stoppage.

Obviously, we’re all prepared and ready to move forward as things develop further,” MGC Executive Director Dean Serpa said on Thursday.

In 2022, Wynn Resorts previously paused the permit process on the development, to see if its planned facilities were the best use of the property.

The Encore Boston Harbor opened in 2019 at a cost of $2.6B.