An Equal Amount of Blueberries in Each Muffin It might be time to bone up on some of the casino movies, like Casino for example. Boston is entertaining the idea of a large casino-hotel in either Everret or East Boston / Revere at Suffolk Downs. Neither location is a 'big ticket' location in terms of real estate pricing, but will that be the case after the casino is built? Maybe. I think we need to take a look at each location and have a look at what is and what may be.
Everett - Steve Wynn What is there now? Vacant lot. Is there access now? No. What access will there be? Possible commuter rail (Newburyport Line), roadways via Rte 99 and Chemical Lane, possible ferry service via Mystic River. Type of area - Industrial.
Suffolk Downs - Caesar's What is there now? Horse Race track, shopping plaza. Is there access now? Yes via US Rte 1A, MA 16 by car. MBTA Blue Line. What access will there be? Same. Type of area - Mixed - Borders on residential on two sides.
Since the Everret location borders no residential areas, it seems clear this will have little impact on home values in Everett. There could be an issue, however, with access. There are, currently, no real roads that lead to this site. The closest main roads in Rte 99 and Rte 16 are already painfully clogged and broken down (the Rte 99 Tunnel has been inoperable for years on the Northbound side and the four lane Alford St roadway portion is almost always bumper to bumper with oil tankers). Somerville and Charlestown could become virtual parking lots less a viable roadways solution is put in place. Somerville's mayor Joe Curtatone has already voiced his disgust with the Everett site (Over my dead body).Â In addition to the major roadway improvements, it seems that water and rail will have to play some sort of role in handling the added traffic.
Suffolk Downs, however, seems the polar opposite. While the T already has a station on the property and a decent highway runs right by, the site is bookended by residential neighborhoods. It seems that the majority of these residents are pro-casino. The race track has been in operation for nearly 75 years, so adding a casino to this site (which also currently has a major shopping plaza) does not seem like much of a change traffic wise. That being said, the Blue Line would need to be upgraded as would US 1A (McClellan Highway).
The State Gaming Commission will spend at least the next year reviewing the proposals.