Springfield officials announced Tuesday afternoon they would be entering a community host agreement with MGM Resorts International over Penn National Gaming.
Penn's local partner, Peter Picknelly, says after losing out on the potential to build a casino in the city's North End, he's obviously disappointed but ready for his next development project.
"I would've liked to have seen the casino in the North End of Springfield but I applaud the mayor for making the decision," Picknelly said. "I see Springfield on the rebound, I really do, and I think there's great reason for optimism for our future."
Penn National had proposed a 13-acre, $800 million casino on land along Main Street in the North End.
It would have incorporated the historic Paramount Theater and The Republican newspaper property.
The gaming company, along with their competitor, MGM, have pumped thousands into the city in their months-long competition to win the host agreement.
"I did this for Springfield and I'm very hopeful and convinced that they got the best deal they could get," Picknelly said.
Nearby Union Station was also part of Penn's redevelopment process. But plans for a renovation will continue with government funding. And Picknelly says he will continue to be a part of that project.
"We are a strong advocate for Union Station, we'd like to move into Union Station, but the last thing the city needs is another vacant piece of property here in Springfield," he said.
Picknelly also praised the transparency of the casino process in Springfield.
It is unclear what Penn National's next steps will be in this process.
As of now, MGM faces off against Mohegan Sun in Palmer and Hard Rock in West Springfield.
Copyright 2013 WSHM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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