Encore Boston Harbor: Will Everett MA Become the Entertainment Capital of the Northeast?
Posted By: Boston City Properties
Vision for Entertainment Development Revealed at Press Conference
Buzz about an impending casino in Everett started a while ago; the property on which it now sits was originally purchased in 2014. In anticipation of its June 23rd opening, Wynn Resorts Ltd. participated in a press conference to discuss the developer’s expectations for the short- and long-term success of the resort. CEO Matt Maddox fielded questions from the press, and he provided insights into Wynn’s overall vision for the Everett waterfront—with the casino being just the first piece of a very complex puzzle.
As explained in the press conference, Wynn Resorts wants to work closely with the city of Everett to develop a full-fledged entertainment district on the once-squalid Mystic River waterfront. The developer already has worked with dozens of local developers on the venture, and it plans to continue to do so as future developments unfold. In cooperation with Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria, who is one of the entertainment district’s biggest proponents, the firm hopes to not only redevelop and improve the waterfront but to make the resort and surrounding areas the entertainment district of the Northeast.
As you will learn later in this article, the development and opening of the casino alone involved a lot of drama and red tape. Investors have poured billions of dollars into the venture, so people around the area are waiting eagerly to see if all of the aggravation will be worth it. As evidenced by the press conference with Wynn and CEO Maddox, however, the majority of those who are involved in the project are more than optimistic about the future of the resort—they believe that the entire waterfront district can become not only a regional draw but an international one.
Wynn Eyes Decommissioned Power Plant for Future Development
Given the scope of the Encore Boston Harbor project, it’s pretty incredible that Wynn doesn’t appear to be close to resting on its laurels in terms of developing the area. Indeed, during the press conference, Maddox explained how Wynn has been eyeing a partially decommissioned power plant just down the Mystic River from the resort. They see the plant as a prime redevelopment opportunity that could play a major role in the ultimate transformation of the Everett waterfront.
There are around 70 acres surrounding the Encore Boston Harbor site, which occupies about 33 acres itself, that could potentially be redeveloped in the near future. Considering that Wynn is already essentially laying claim to much of that land for future plans, it’s safe to say that the developer expects for the casino to be a huge success. It has only been open for about a month so far, but the overall tone at the press conference was one of confidence and optimism. The power plant that is being looked at by Wynn, an Exelon plant, is already partially decommissioned. If the city allows for it to be completely decommissioned, the resort could easily move ahead with additional expansion plans.
In a way, the replacement of an old power plant with a shiny new entertainment complex and district is a small glimpse of what could become a huge transformation for the entire waterfront. For much of its history, Everett’s waterfront has been more of an eyesore than anything. Along its lengths, power plants, auto shops and other unsightly and polluting sites made it one of the last places that locals wanted to be. It was left alone for essentially a whole century, but it appears that that chapter is finally coming to a close. Could this be the beginning of the rebirth of the Everett waterfront? Stick with Boston City Properties to find out.
Former Monsanto Plant Replaced By Ultra-Modern Casino Resort
If you grew up in the Boston area—especially in or near Everett—you probably still remember how unsightly and foul-smelling its waterfront used to be. A huge reason for that was the presence of a massive Monsanto chemical plant that used to exist on the 33-acre site where the Encore Boston Harbor now sits. The plant caused contamination to the land and water in the area for many decades, so people tended to steer clear of the waterfront.
As a part of its massive agreement with the city of Everett for permission to develop the casino-resort, Wynn didn’t just purchase the site of the former plant—it agreed to do whatever had to be done to clean up the long-term contamination issue. Ultimately, Wynn forked over between $70 and $80 million to make the cleanup happen, proving yet again that it was willing to invest whatever it took to develop its new resort on lower Broadway.
For many years, the area along the waterfront near the former Monsanto plant continually emitted the foul odor of sulfur. This negatively impacted local property values and scared developers away from considering new ideas for the area. Now that waterfront real estate around the region is so picked over, however, developers are becoming more willing to work with less-than-optimal land. That, of course, is great news for places like Everett. The city’s proximity to Boston—it neighbors the Charlestown neighborhood—has always worked in its favor. By cleaning up the waterfront and converting it into a potential entertainment mecca that draws in people from around the region and world, the city might just finally earn a spotlight of its own.
For the past several years, the Boston region has been a hotbed of real estate development activity. A booming economy, low unemployment and a serious shortage of available housing inventory have converged to force developers to look beyond the city limits for future development. Such development has been happening in many outlying areas, but the recent opening of the Encore Boston Harbor resort in Everett is poised to be the first step in what could be a complete transformation of the once-gritty city on the Mystic.
Whether you are currently looking to buy a home in or near Everett, need to rent a place in the area or just like to keep up to date regarding real estate development activities around Boston and Massachusetts in general, Boston City Properties is your trusted source for up-to-the-second information. We have especially been paying close attention to the happenings over in Everett, which are promising to be truly epic in the long run. If everything pans out like the city, its mayor and the resort hope, Everett could become a major player in the East Coast entertainment scene for decades to come.
So, what do the recent Everett real estate market developments mean for you? Regardless of your reasons for being interested in Boston real estate, you can be certain that the transformation of this densely packed city just north of Boston will have major impacts on the region’s overall real estate market. Therefore, if you have any plans to buy, sell or rent in the future, it will be helpful to keep track of how things develop with the new casino--and with the potential entertainment mecca that developers and residents alike are hoping will come to fruition.
The impact of the new Encore Boston Harbor casino and resort can’t be emphasized enough. In addition to putting the city of Everett on the map in a big way--along with its waterfront--the new resort has already brought hundreds of new jobs to the area. Its construction generated huge amounts of income for the region, and agreements with Wynn Resorts Ltd.—the developer behind the casino—have spurred major improvements in local roads and infrastructure. If everything unfolds as planned, Everett will be more connected to Boston and surrounding areas than ever—and it is sure to become an even more attractive place for house hunters and apartment seekers alike.
Boston City Properties: Your Source for Everett Real Estate Information
Before taking a closer look at the new casino and its impact on the region, let’s examine how Boston City Properties can assist you in making informed real estate decisions. One obvious example of this is our ability to bring you the latest news and developments regarding the status of the Encore Boston Harbor development and its ensuing impact on the region. By knowing ahead of time how much the area may explode in terms of housing and jobs, you should be able to make more strategic decisions.
More importantly, however, Boston City Properties maintains one of the largest online databases of searchable MA real estate listings around. Our data is updated continually, and it is culled from reputable and reliable sources like the MLS. Because it is focused solely on Massachusetts real estate—with a special emphasis on metro Boston—it is the most reliable source of information regarding the availability and pricing of local properties. You don’t have to be looking for residential homes to buy to make the most of our database, either; it includes listings for commercial properties, rental properties and much more too.
Gaining access to our listings is as easy as completing a simple sign-up form. From there, you’ll enjoy immediate, free, ongoing access, and you can use our handy search tool to zero in on what you need quickly. It lets you select specific Boston neighborhoods and nearby communities, including Everett, so that you can explore current availability in no time. Our company also has connections with skilled and knowledgeable real estate professionals in Everett and across all Boston neighborhoods and Massachusetts communities, and we can put you in touch with one whenever you’re ready to proceed with your venture.
Wynn Reveals Potential Upcoming Redevelopment Plans
Although the developer has been tight-lipped regarding specific plans, including potential timeframes and the like, Maddox revealed at the press conference that Wynn Resorts had already been scooping up or eyeing additional parcels around the waterfront. Over the past four years, according to the CEO, the developer has also purchased 11 acres—the equivalent of 82 parcels of land—to set aside for potential future redevelopment.
The developer is also looking at two massive nearby parcels of land that it might ultimately purchase and redevelop. The first, an 18-acre MBTA repair and maintenance facility located right next to the casino, could quite possibly become part of the second phase of the redevelopment of the Everett waterfront. Indeed, Mayor DeMaria even hinted that the parcel—along with the site of the former Exelon power plant across the street from the resort—could eventually be developed into an overarching entertainment district that would span the river. It could include unique outdoor spaces, hundreds of additional hotel rooms, breweries, cafes, restaurants and artist displays. Given that the mayor and Wynn publicly expressed interest in doing this at the press conference, odds are high that it will eventually come to pass.
About the Encore Boston Harbor Resort
Originally to be named after its parent company, Encore Boston Harbor is a truly historic development not just for Everett but for metro Boston in general. The resort, which cost $2.6 billion to develop and construct, includes 671 lavishly appointed hotel rooms; a 19,500-square-foot spa; 3,100 slot machines; 143 tables games; 88 poker games; and a massive, chrome statue of Popeye that cost $28 million. Wynn has pulled out all of the stops to ensure that the property is as first-rate as can be—and Everett hopes that it translates into more jobs, economic growth and more.
Many Bostonians don’t realize it, but the new Encore Boston Harbor is an historic development not just for the city and region but for the world. That’s mostly because it is among the very first integrated casino-resorts to be built in a major urban area. Already, the development of the casino is being lauded as the first step in a move toward real urban renewal. Developers are viewing the resort as the “anchor” that will spur massive redevelopment of the area—and casino operators around the world are watching how the new project fares in such a densely populated environment.
The site on which the resort now sits was once a barren industrial wasteland. The former power plant had rendered the land polluted and odorous. In developing the resort, Wynn Resorts also improved the appearance of the waterfront significantly. The new resort boasts more than 900 new trees and more than 100,000 new plants, flowers and shrubs. Of course, it is still surrounded by an area that is overwhelmed with scrapyards, power plants and other blight—but that should all start changing as redevelopment continues.
In anticipation of the opening of the casino on June 23rd, Wynn provided a special two-hour tour of the resort. More than 200 journalists were walked through the grounds and shown all of its most important features. The resort managed to drum up a lot of excitement thanks to the tour, which provided the public with its first glimpses of the state-of-the-art facility. Naturally, many of the journalists in attendance expressed concerns about the impact of the casino on things like traffic. However, the developer and mayor are confident that any potential downsides will be more than mitigated by the benefits that the new resort brings to the area.
During the tour, journalists were shown a lavish, top-floor hotel suite that included expansive views of the Boston skyline and its own private fitness room. They were also shown around the resort’s nightclub, Memoire, which boasts a $2-million light and sound system and 20 VIP tables; non-VIPs will pay a cover charge of at least $40 to gain entry. The tour also showed journalists around the resort’s restaurants and bars. The craft brew pub offers local brews and displays the distance from each brewery to the casino on the menu. There is also a 640-person venue, Mystique Asian Restaurant and Lounge, that is sure to enhance the property’s overall image.
Perhaps one of the most unique and unusual things about the new Encore Boston Harbor resort is the statue that is positioned out front. Designed and built by U.S. artist Jeff Koons, the statue of Popeye the sailorman, the longtime popular cartoon character and Boston-area native, stands 7 feet tall and is made out of dazzling, shiny chrome. The price tag for the statue, which Wynn happily paid, exceeded $28 million. Already, it has become one of the top landmarks of the resort; people have been flocking to it to take selfies in front of it, so it’s getting a lot of exposure.
Even before it opened, the Encore Boston Harbor resort provided an economic boost for the city of Everett. Residents were largely in favor of the casino, and they approved its development by a margin of 80 percent. Approximately 7,400 local construction workers were brought on board to build the massive resort, which stands 26 stories tall and is now a distinct landmark on the Everett waterfront.
Since the construction of the casino relied on local labor, it generated a lot of income for the region. Of course, Wynn Resorts and the city of Everett hope that it is just the first of many exciting improvements for the area. The casino and eventual entertainment district could very well turn Everett into a bona fide tourist attraction. It is hoped that people not only from around New England and the local area but from around the country and world flock there to see a prime example of urban renewal in an historic, densely populated area. Boston City Properties will continue to keep track of the progress of the redevelopment of the waterfront, so check back often for updates.
Soft Opening Reveals Hiccups
In anticipation of the official opening of the resort, which had long been scheduled for June 23rd, a Sunday, Wynn Resorts held a soft opening to gauge interest and to identify any potential flaws or problems. According to Maddox, the resort did experience a few “hiccups” during the opening, and the CEO does not expect for the resort to be up to full operational performance for around 90 days. During that time, the developer will survey guests and others to figure out what works and what doesn’t. From the sounds of it, Wynn Resorts plans to keep evolving the site until it reaches its full potential.
Opening of Casino a Big Deal for Everett
It is a known fact that new casinos cause major increases in traffic in surrounding areas. In anticipation of that and other issues, Wynn Resorts worked closely with Everett police chief Steven Mazzie and other officials to ensure the smoothest opening day possible. They planned for months in advance to determine the best time for the resort to open and decided that a Sunday would be ideal, so June 23rd became the official date.
Encore Boston Harbor also enlisted the help of hundreds of local law enforcement officials. They had the assistance of 400 officers from the Massachusetts State Police, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority and various local police organizations. These officers were put on the ground to help to direct traffic and to assist visitors with safely finding their way around. These efforts were made to address concerns that the new resort would make the already horrible traffic situation in the area a lot worse. However, the Everett city council has gone on the record as stating that only the first few weeks after opening should be bad; naturally, many people disagree with that.
Why Wynn Chose Everett
What is it about Everett that attracted Wynn Resorts to its waterfront? If you are from the Boston area, you were probably a bit surprised to hear about a glitzy new casino resort opening in that city. However, a lot of change is afoot in this city, which had a population of 41,667 at the time of the 2010 U.S. Census. Located just north of Boston in Middlesex County on the Mystic River, Everett has long been a major part of the Port of Boston and has largely been a gritty, industrial place for most of its history.
Covered primarily by the 02149 zip code, Everett is the 31st largest community in the state of Massachusetts. Unlike most communities around the area, which tend to skew either primarily white collar or primarily blue collar, Everett has long had a diverse mix of both types of workers. The median household income in 2010 was $49,737, which is a bit lower than the national average. More people rent places in the city than own homes, and part of the Revere Beach Parkway passes through the city.
Because it borders Charlestown, the oldest and largest neighborhood in Boston, Everett has long been a popular place to live for people who need to commute into the city for work and school. However, the average commute time for residents now exceeds 30 minutes—and for many people, the commute can stretch into several hours per day. Since casinos have reputations for making bad traffic situations worse, it may seem surprising that the city agreed to let the resort come there. However, Wynn Resorts had to agree to invest millions of dollars into road and infrastructure improvements to make the deal happen.
Thanks to its recent growth—and the potential for so much more because of the redevelopment of its waterfront—Everett has started being called “the next Somerville.” Somerville, of course, is a wildly successful neighbor to Boston. Its Assembly Row district is among the best examples of an urban mixed-use development in the region, with hundreds of housing units, retail establishments and other attractions. Fittingly, future plans include a potential pedestrian bridge across the Mystic to Assembly Row, which would help to make Everett an even more central player in the ongoing rebirth of the region.
Development of Resort Not Without Controversy
Those who have been following the development of the Encore Boston Harbor resort already know that plenty of obstacles had to be overcome for it to become a reality. The resort was originally the brainchild of Steve Wynn, the founder and former president and CEO of Wynn Resorts Ltd. Around the time that the deal was first in the works, Steve Wynn became the subject of serious allegations of sexual impropriety. These allegations led to an investigation that caused some pretty significant issues for the developer.
Because of the investigation that occurred after the allegations against its CEO came to light, Wynn Resorts was hit with an historic $35-million fine by the Massachusetts government. They were also made subject to strict oversight conditions. These penalties came about because it was shown that Wynn Resorts knowingly hid details about the allegations against its CEO from Massachusetts regulators. For his part in the controversy, current CEO Matt Maddox was hit with a $500,000 fine. He was also ordered to complete sensitivity and leadership training for the deal to go through.
Since all of these things happened right around when the project was getting off the ground, it appeared for a minute like the whole thing might fall through. In fact, Wynn Resorts briefly considered selling to MGM as a part of getting out of the deal. However, the developer ultimately agreed to pay the fines that had been levied against it, and the deal was able to proceed. Needless to say, after all of the effort and investment that Wynn Resorts had made into the waterfront, locals were pretty surprised to learn that the company might immediately sell out to MGM.
The talks about potentially selling the resort to MGM fell apart in May 2019. The potential deal could have meant big changes for MGM because the company operates a casino in Springfield, MA. Had the deal gone through, MGM would have had to sell that casino. In the end, of course, Wynn decided to retain the resort. Chances are that MGM jumped through a lot of hoops to try and acquire the property, and they likely considered selling the Springfield casino to make it happen. Despite all of the upheaval and uncertainty, everything ended up falling into place. No additional word about a potential sale to MGM has been made, and it is unlikely to happen at all now.
Another potential hiccup on the path toward Wynn opening the Encore Boston Harbor involved John W. Henry. One of the best-known businessmen in the region, Henry is a principal owner of the Boston Red Sox and is also the owner and publisher of the Boston Globe. Along with a large backing of investors, Henry expressed interest in buying the resort in 2018. He again made this desire known in 2019, but Wynn clearly wasn’t interested. Of course, depending on how things pan out for the property, it could end up changing hands to Henry or even MGM at some point in the future.
Wynn Resorts Invests Big in Everett
To make the casino deal happen, Wynn Resorts had to agree to make major investments in the city of Everett. As highlighted during the press conference, the developer promised from the start to work closely with the city and its mayor, Carlo DeMaria, to not only make the resort happen but to improve the entire waterfront. For the casino to thrive the way in which Wynn would like it to, major improvements to local roads and infrastructure were needed. It comes as no surprise, then, that Wynn agreed to invest so much money and effort into improving the area.
Perhaps one of the most exciting and anticipated things that Wynn Resorts is working to make happen is the development of a multimillion-dollar pedestrian footbridge across the Mystic River. The bridge would connect Encore Boston Harbor with Assembly Square and its Orange Line MBTA station, which would make it significantly easier for people from around the area to make their way to the waterfront and resort. As part of the deal for developing the resort, Wynn did agree to pay for the bridge—but the developer had stipulations of its own for that to happen.
Wynn Resorts stated that it would only agree to pay for the bridge—which would still have to clear a ton of red tape to get approved—if the local government agrees to finish renovating and redeveloping Draw Seven Park, which is located on the Somerville side of the proposed bridge. Wynn also requires that the north house of the Assembly Square station be expanded so that it travels up and over the northbound tracks. That project alone would require copious amounts of planning, work and money, so it will be interesting to see if the local government ultimately complies.
Wynn Resorts: Casinos Have to Be Good Neighbors
During the press conference, it was noted that Wynn Resorts had to agree to investing significantly in Everett to make its new resort happen. The developer acknowledged that for a casino to be successful anywhere, it had to establish itself from the start as a being “good neighbor.” Many local commercial real estate deals depend on such agreements, but Wynn Resorts truly went to extensive lengths to hold up their end of the deal. To make the new resort a reality, the developer agreed to make the following things happen:
- Free neighborhood shuttles – Encore Boston Harbor has already set up and is utilizing neighborhood shuttle buses to ferry locals to and from the casino and various local landmarks. The goal is to keep as many people from driving to the casino as possible, which will only add to the considerable traffic woes of the region. The cost to operate these free shuttle buses has to be considerable, but Wynn clearly believes that the investment will be worth it in the long run. It was also a smart way to appease the minority of locals who opposed the development of the resort.
- Free shuttles to and from train stations – Until additional infrastructure improvements are made in the area, including making it more pedestrian friendly, getting from local train stations to the waterfront casino-resort on foot is a near impossibility. Realistically, people can’t be expected to pay for cabs or Uber rides, so Wynn agreed to offer free shuttle services to and from the resort and nearby train stations. Therefore, people can now travel to the nearest train station and hop on a shuttle bus to complete their trip to the resort. This step should also help to minimize traffic problems from the new development.
- Water shuttle service – Wynn Resorts also agreed to build a new dock in Everett to support a new water taxi service between two different locations. Since the harbor and river are widely used for transportation purposes, it makes sense to offer water shuttles as another way for people to easily access the new entertainment district in Everett. These shuttles will ferry passengers along the water from a dock near the casino to stops at the Seaport District and Long Wharf. Once again, Encore decided to opt for the path of least resistance for encouraging people to head over to the new resort.
- Road improvements – To ease the traffic problems that will surely be generated by the new resort, Wynn also agreed to make improvements to roads around the casino and city. Many nearby roads are being widened to accommodate more traffic, which should help to keep it flowing along more easily. Left-turn lanes have also been added in many places, which will help to reduce traffic jams and allow people and taxis to get to and from the resort more quickly. The city was in dire need of these improvements anyway, so it’s a definite win for Everett.
- Path connections – The developer also agreed to connect a path that is located near Gateway Park so that it extends to the casino. It will then continue along to the Alfred Street bridge, which leads to the Boston neighborhood of Charlestown. This way, the Everett waterfront won’t just be connected to Somerville; it will also be connected to the city of Boston via an accessible, well-designed path. This is sure to be music to the ears of those who love getting around the city by foot and by bicycle because it provides another uninterrupted stretch of safe pathway to travel.
- Sullivan Square improvements – The developers were clearly looking at the big picture when making plans for the new resort. As part of the agreement to make Encore Boston Harbor happen, Wynn agreed to invest in improvements to Sullivan Square, which is the location of a busy Charlestown intersection and the site of an important Orange Line stop. The improvements are designed to make Sullivan Square safer, and they include repainting crosswalks and adding new walkways. It is hoped that these improvements will encourage more people to make their way over to Everett and its new entertainment district from Charlestown.
- Connecting pedestrian bridge to bike path – As mentioned before, Wynn has proposed the construction of a pedestrian bridge across the lower Mystic to connect the waterfront to Assembly Square. The developer filed permits with state environmental regulators for a 12-foot-wide bridge for pedestrians and bicycles. It will provide a direct path to the Orange Line at Assembly Row, and it will also connect parts of the 10-mile Northern Strand Community Trail. Also known as the Bike to the Sea Trail, it connects Everett, Revere, Malden and Saugus. The extension, which is already underway, will connect it to the Mystic River and to the new water shuttle stops that will be constructed there.
- Improvements to Draw Seven Park – On top of all of that, Wynn agreed to help to make improvements to Draw Seven Park. Located on the Charlestown waterfront, the primary improvement involves adding a pedestrian friendly path that will connect the park to the Assembly Row station. This will reinforce the continuity of pedestrian pathways around the area and should make the region easier to navigate—which is a huge deal to a big resort that needs lots of paying customers.
- Continuation of Bus Rapid Transit Program – Years ago, Everett became one of several local cities to implement a Bus Rapid Transit Program. This involved adding several bus-only lanes across the city to provide faster service between stops. The program has been wildly successful, and developers and the city plan to continue and expand it with the opening of the new resort. Many other cities are eyeing the program, and its ongoing success should prompt many others to develop their own. In this way, Wynn Resorts’ development of the Encore Boston Harbor is acting as a catalyst for transportation reform across the region.
Will the New Everett Entertainment District Make Traffic Even Worse?
One of the top objections that locals and others had to the proposed resort—and any future entertainment district, for that matter—involved concerns about its impact on local traffic. The traffic situation in Everett is among the worst in the region, and casinos are known to cause increases in traffic, so it makes sense for this to have been a concern.
According to a report by the Lower Mystic Valley Regional Working Group, planned commercial and residential growth in Everett, Boston and Somerville could lead to the creation of 27,000 new households and 55,000 new jobs for the region between 2010 and 2040. This future potential growth could help to meet about 5 percent of the state’s current housing needs, which are considerable. It could also accommodate up to 20 percent of projected statewide employment during that same period of time. While this all sounds like good news, one major potential downside is that such massive growth could add more than 500,000 new daily trips to and from the area in question by 2040, which would represent an increase of 34 percent from the year 2010.
Due to its location directly north of Boston, Everett is ground zero for the region’s worst traffic woes. It located smack-dab in the center of one of the city’s worst commuting corridors, which people follow through Everett into Charlestown to avoid paying the Tobin Bridge tolls. Recently, construction projects on and near that bridge have only made matters worse. Needless to say, then, the addition of the casino-resort to the area and the potential for even more traffic has many people concerned. There is little doubt that local governments will have to make additional infrastructure changes in the future to mitigate this problem.
To put into perspective just how bad the traffic situation has become in metro Boston, you just need to consider responses from recent polls that were conducted by MassINC. According to the polls, around 30 percent of statewide workers have seriously considered leaving the region solely because of the bad traffic. An incredible 72 percent of respondents stated that they had experienced emotional impacts from their nightmarish daily commutes. Therefore, traffic isn’t just something that slows people down; it actually negatively impacts their quality of life, and many of them would probably trade a potential new entertainment district for less terrible commuting experiences.
The Regional Impact of the New Everett Entertainment District
Until now, Boston has not had its own local casino-resort. With the development of Encore Boston Harbor, of course, that has changed. Long before the casino was built, speculation arose about what its impact would be on casinos in Connecticut. For many years now, those casinos have attracted thousands of Boston and Massachusetts residents, so they have come to rely on their patronage. It is quite possible that the new casino-resort will draw away so much business that some of the CT casinos will have to close.
The new casino is also having an impact on New Hampshire, which remains one of the last handful of states that has not yet legalized casino gaming. Now that the Encore Boston Harbor has opened and there is the potential for the Everett waterfront to become a regional entertainment mecca, New Hampshire has become concerned about losing tourism dollars. For the first time, the state is seriously considering legalizing casino gaming. It would join 43 states where it is already legal; the only ones besides NH where it still isn’t are Utah, Texas, Georgia, Hawaii, South Carolina and Vermont.
New Resort Draws International Interest
Among the thousands who came out for the new casino’s opening day were 25 journalists from the country of Japan. Japan just legalized casino gaming in 2018, opening up a massive new market for developers like Wynn Resorts to explore. Journalists and visitors from Japan came to the opening to experience what a major casino-resort in a densely populated urban area would be like. Since it’s among the first of its kind in this regard, the casino is attracting interest from across the world. If it succeeds, chances are that it will be replicated in cities around the world in one form or another.
Sports Betting Could Be Coming to Everett Too
Just last year, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the longtime federal ban on sports gambling. Almost immediately, more than 12 states have acted on the new legalization of sports betting—and many more are apt to follow suit. Massachusetts has reportedly already considered numerous proposals for legalizing sports betting in the state; one of these proposals is even backed by Governor Charlie Barker. However, no real progress has been made on any of these proposals.
The reason that the potential legalization of sports betting in MA is such a big deal for Everett is because Wynn Resorts has already left the door open for a facility of that type on the waterfront. During the press conference, Maddox even confirmed that Wynn already possessed the land that would be needed to make the facility happen. The mayor also noted that a spot has already been selected, so if the state opts to legalize sports gambling, Encore Boston Harbor should be among the first to take advantage of it. Of course, this could be a long time coming still—but it’s one more example of how the new resort could transform Everett into a bona fide entertainment capital.
Economic Impact of New Resort Expected to Be Huge
If you are thinking about moving outside of Boston, you might consider Everett. Now that the casino has opened, there is good reason to believe that the region will experience many economic improvements. The state of Massachusetts hopes to collect $135 million in tax payments from the development during its first year in business alone. The city of Everett also estimates that the new resort could generate $30 to $40 million of additional revenue for its coffers. This money would mostly come from meal and room taxes as well as rising home and real estate values and various types of spillover development.
Already, 600 to 700 Everett residents work at the Encore Boston Harbor. Their employment could generate up to $300 million in payroll dollars for the region, which is obviously a major benefit. The casino ultimately expects to employ 5,800 people from the greater Boston region, and that figure could balloon even further if the entertainment district comes into fruition as it is expected to.
The Current Real Estate Market in Everett
Like the rest of Boston and the state, the city of Everett has been experiencing rising property values for a long time. It has also experienced low inventory levels and a dearth of new construction, so prices have pushed even higher still. Currently, the median sales price for a home in Everett is $427,500, and the median price per square foot is $341. Renters don’t fare much better in the city, with the median monthly rent currently hovering around $2,300. Prices are lower in some nearby cities, including Malden and Chelsea.
Can you afford to buy a home in Everett? The sooner that you act, the likelier you’ll be able to. As the area becomes more popular and more revenue streams in from the new waterfront developments, home values are sure to rise even higher. Currently, 9.3 percent of properties are valued between $136,000 and $273,000. Around 19 percent of them fall between $273,000 and $409,000. The largest percentage, 33.2 percent, cost between $409,000 and $546,000, and another 22.2 percent cost between $546,000 and $683,000. Finally, a whopping 12.6 percent of properties in Everett are valued at $1 million or more. Since 2000, home values here have appreciated by 103 percent, and the annual appreciation rate has been around 3.77 percent. Therefore, the sooner that you buy a home here, the better.
What can you expect to find when searching for a home to buy in Everett? With help from Boston City Properties, you should be able to zero in on something great in no time. There are currently nearly 15,600 homes and apartments in the city. Roughly 39.5 percent of the population are homeowners while 60.5 percent rent, and the vacancy rate is currently 6.6 percent for properties around the city. Of the thousands of homes in the city, the vast majority—64.5 percent—were built in 1939 or before. Around 18.7 percent of homes were built between 1940 and 1969, and 13.9 percent were built between 1970 and 1999. Only 2.9 percent of properties were built in or after the year 2000, so it isn’t easy to find new construction in the area. With the development of the new entertainment district, however, that is likely to change. Whether you want an older house or prefer a brand-new one, then, you should be able to find something suitable in Everett—you just have to connect with Boston City Properties to make it as easy as possible.
Out of the housing inventory across Everett, 20.4 percent of homes are single-family homes. Around 6.2 percent are townhouses, and apartments account for 73.3 percent of properties in the city. If you are going to rent, then, you will have far more options at your disposal than if you are going to buy. In terms of size, 3.3 percent of homes are studios without bedrooms. Around 16.4 percent are one-bedroom homes, and roughly 39 percent are two-bedroom homes. Approximately 28.9 percent of homes here have three bedrooms, and 8.1 percent are four-bedroom homes. Finally, 4.3 percent of homes in Everett offer five or more bedrooms.
Current State of the Everett Housing Market
If you are thinking about buying a place in Everett, you can check current availability by connecting with Boston City Properties. Things change rapidly in real estate, but there are currently 75 homes on the market in the city, and they are sitting on the market for an average of just 9.5 days. Most properties get at least three offers, and most of them sell for at least 1 percent more than list price. Quite a few of them sell for 4 percent or more above list price, so it’s safe to say that the real estate market is very competitive.
How Boston City Properties Can Help
Like so many others around metro Boston, Boston City Properties is excited to see what the future holds for Everett. Now that Wynn Resorts has committed to turning the Mystic River waterfront into a true entertainment mecca, we expect to see a surge of interest in homes for sale in the area, and we are here to help whether you are looking to buy or rent. Right now, sign up to gain instant, free access to our vast database of searchable MA real estate listings. Use our search tool to check current availability for properties that suit your needs in Everett or in any Boston neighborhood or Massachusetts city or town.
When you are ready to check out homes in person, we can connect you with an Everett real estate expert who can arrange visits on your behalf. This professional can also guide you through the home-buying process to make it as easy as possible. As always, feel free to call Boston City Properties with any questions, and stay tuned for additional updates about the Everett entertainment district in the future.