SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – MGM Springfield must build 54 market-rate housing units in the city, or face a fine.
More than half of those units were supposed to be built by August, but that never happened. The 22News I-Team looked into the issue after a viewer emailed us, wondering why MGM isn’t being fined for not meeting the original deadline.
Springfield City Councilor Kateri Walsh told the I-Team that they voted to give MGM more time. “The City Council this summer unanimously voted to extend the deadline,” Walsh explained.
MGM has two market-rate housing deadlines. The first was to build 32 units by this August, and the second was to have the rest finished 18-months after the casino opens. MGM asked the City Council to extend the first deadline to coincide with the second, and the City Council agreed.
MGM wants to redevelop the historic Court Square Building on Elm Street in downtown Springfield. The Springfield City Council agreed that doing so would take more time than their original deadline.
City Council President Orlando Ramos told the I-Team the city can only use the financial penalty if MGM defaults, or breaches the agreement. “There’s a provision in the host community agreement that does call for certain penalties if they are in default. We didn’t feel it was necessary to implement those penalties,” Ramos said.
MGM now has until 2020 to build 54 market-rate housing units, or they could face a fine.