Encore Boston Harbor recently announced that plans have been delayed for the massive entertainment venue known as East of Broadway.
“Encore has decided to pause the permitting process for this development so that they can do some reevaluation,” said Joseph Delaney, chief of community affairs for the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC), during the MGC’s January 12 meeting. “Some issues came up with respect to whether it’s part of the gaming establishment or not – that has certain impacts on their development – as well as COVID and other things that they’re considering at this point in time.”
Delaney also said Encore’s process with the city’s Planning Board has also been halted, adding that a new timeframe has not yet been established.
“We are pleased with the progress we’re making on designing a development plan that will act as a springboard to create a Lower Broadway Entertainment District,” said Encore spokeswoman Rosie Abrams. “We continue to evolve that plan and will present it to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission at the appropriate time.”
The development is slated to be located across the street from the casino. The project itself calls for an 1,800-seat auditorium, 20,000 square feet of restaurant space and parking for 2,200 vehicles. The site sits on the east side of Broadway between Dexter and Mystic Streets, which puts it in the Lower Broadway Economic Development District. This project would be a key factor in converting the industrial area on Lower Broadway into a mixed-use neighborhood. It would also allow for the future implementation of Broadway Complete Streets.
Matthew Lattanzi, director of Planning and Development, said he still looks forward to what Encore will ultimately bring forward. “The city is excited to review this transformative redevelopment proposed by the Encore team. A longtime home to industrial and unsightly uses, Lower Broadway will be converted into a welcoming destination,” said Lattanzi. “This proposed development is one of a few in Everett’s Lower Broadway area that will help redefine the landscape, bringing a sense of pride to a portion of the city that never had its true potential explored.”
Despite the temporary stoppage, Mayor Carlo DeMaria said he has not lost sight of the project. “The city has been actively meeting with Encore officials to discuss their newly-proposed development,” he said. “Our meetings over these past few months have helped to shape the project throughout its design, as various stakeholders weigh in on their desired mitigation measures to ensure successful implementation of a Destination District. These meetings will continue throughout the Planning Board review process as we continue to address any effects brought about by potential amendments to the submitted plans.”