Encore On line casino shares plans for leisure district, scales again live performance venue

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Encore Casino rolls the dice again – for a new project.

A month after executives announced they were pausing proposed redevelopment plans for Everett’s Entertainment District, they presented a slightly stripped-down version to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.

“We’re really trying to make this a vibrant neighborhood,” said Chris Gordon, president of Wynn Resorts Development. “They come from an industrial area with small local businesses that may not have been thriving and they come up with something that we think could be a great asset.”

The plan, which Encore presented to the commission Thursday, included 20,000 square feet of retail space, about 800 hotel rooms or two to three large hotels, about 50,000 square feet of restaurant space, or between five and seven restaurants, and a parking lot with over 2,300 spaces garage, storage and green space as well as a Concert hall with up to 999 seats.

The biggest change in plans was the reduction of the concert hall from 1,800 to up to 999 seats.

“We think that theater of this scale can really be a gem for the district and area,” said Gordon. “(It) can be a huge addition to the Massachusetts cultural scene. I mean we think it suits all kinds of shows on all different days of the week.”

He added that the smaller venue could more easily be booked more frequently while still allowing for mixed use.

Encore also presented plans for a public footbridge across Broadway, which is currently a six-lane freeway but will be expanded to nine lanes to accommodate new bus lanes.

The Gaming Commission members questioned Encore about whether the footbridge connecting to the casino technically represents the development portion of the gaming facility, which would subject it to different regulations.

Encore officials said they could make changes to the bridge’s launch point to further separate it from the playing surface. The bridge would have exit points everywhere, so pedestrians would not have to enter the casino.