By Josh Resnek
The Mystic Generating Station across from the Encore Boston Harbor has been sold.
Wynn Resorts is the buyer.
The price: $25 million.
Last Tuesday, the owner of the former generating station and the land it sits on, Constellation Energy completed the sale of the 45-acre property that fronts the Mystic River.
For Wynn Resorts and Encore, it is brilliant buy despite the pollution plaguing the property and the cost for taking down the power plant and remediating the pollution.
At $25 million, the cost per acre for the acquisition of the property was less than $500,000 per acre.
Considering an acre in Everett today can fetch as much as $3 million to $5 million, Wynn Resorts has made a solid investment.
It is not without its difficulties, however, Wynn has shown the ability to take the 33-acre site the casino sits on, one of the worst polluted sites in Massachusetts, and to turn it into a totally remediated lush, green wonderland with imposing modern structures built on the site.
“Our goal for the purchase is to ensure that future development in the area is synergistic with our existing investment at Encore Boston Harbor. Our planned development on Lower Broadway, and the broad planning of the Lower Broadway District by the City of Everett,” said Wynn spokesman Michael Weaver.
It is believed that the Kraft Family is looking at the property just acquired by Wynn as a place to build a 20,000 – 30,000 seat state of the art Everett.
In nearby Wakefield, voters recently approved a tax increase for a new $275 million high school.
The state was willing to pony up about $70 million of that amount.
As a result, Wakefield property owners will be looking at adding $1,200 to $1,400 property tax increase that will be in effect from fiscal 2023 to fiscal 2058.
Seventy one per cent of the voters in Wakefield supported the building and funding of the new high school.
The New England Association of Schools and Colleges has placed the school on probation due to the outdated condition of its math and science classrooms.
Also, the existing high school, built as a junior high school in 1950 suffers from major deficiencies, numerous code violations and inadequate handicap access.
In the Wakefield example, the state was willing to finance less than 25% of the total cost.
In Everett, where it is believed the state will finance as much as 50%, that would leave the taxpayers of the city to pony up as much as $250 million of the estimated $500 million cost.
That would require a monumental tax rise on properties here.
However, the mayor has noted that with added new investment rolling in, the city can weather the storm.
soccer stadium for the Revolution soccer team owned by the Krafts.
Exactly what Wynn and Kraft might be dis- cussing, if anything, about such a development scheme is unknown.
The fly in the ointment of the land deal for Wynn is that the land it has purchased sits on a triangle of land in a state-regulated Designated Port Area where only maritime industrial projects are allowed to be built.
Soccer stadiums are not industrial properties, for example.
For the site to be removed from the designated Port area designation would require a an act of the Massachusetts Legislature.
Such a vote of approval for the change, it is widely believed, would be nearly unanimous.
Of greater interest and some consternation to property owners here, is the new taxation to be set for this land by the city now that the valuation will be reduced from hundreds of millions of dollars to $25 million – at least for the next five years while the property is developed.
The vastly changed downward valuation and the tax hole it will leave must be made up to keep the city budget secure.
How that will be done is not exactly known.