Cordish Enterprises has revealed plans to develop a $1.4 billion casino in Petersburg, Virginia. [Image: Shutterstock.com]
Specific emergencies in place
Cordish Enterprises has revealed plans for a $1.4 billion casino resort in Petersburg, Virginia. The Petersburg City Council voted unanimously on Tuesday night to select Cordish as the company to develop a casino resort in the area. It will be a three-phase project and spread over an area of 80 acres in the economically distressed area.
The city’s general assembly must give the go-ahead to introduce casino gambling
City manager John Marsh warned Altman that despite the vote, a deal has not yet been made. There are contingencies with the agreement, including the big deal: The Virginia General Assembly has to give the city the green light to introduce casino gambling. Cordish also said that the project would depend on the fact that there is no casino in the nearby city of Richmond.
Selection process and preliminary plans
Cordish gave a presentation City Council meeting, outlining her plans for the upcoming casino project. Cordish’s president of operations, Zed Smith, believes it is a “once-in-a-generation opportunity” for the city. The city’s relationship with Cordish dates back about two months when a closed-door meeting led to the approval of a decision to explore a potential partnership with the Baltimore-based casino company to create a casino destination.
Preferred partner due to its proven track record of building and operating casinos in cities
The council had Speller Consulting Group look into potential casino operator partnerships and the proposed casino site. The advisory group looked at five different casino companies in total. Cordish is the partner of choice due to its proven track record of building and operating casinos in cities such as Philadelphia, Kansas City and Pittsburgh.
As part of Cordish’s plans for Petersburg, the first phase of the project will see the development of a 230,000-square-foot casino and a 200-room hotel. The construction process will take about two years. It can start working as soon as the state approves casino games in Petersburg. A vote must also take place in November among the St. Petersburg public to get the final go-ahead.
Battle between Richmond and Petersburg
Cordish was developing a casino resort in nearby Richmond last year. The people of Richmond eventually voted against allowing the casino to move forward in the city. City officials had been looking to try again and hold another vote last month, but the state blocked the move. Instead, the Joint Legislative Review and Audit Committee undertook a study of the feasibility of a casino resort in Petersburg.
The study was completed and released in October, indicating that both Petersburg and Richmond could support casinos at the same time. The study estimated that Casino Petersburg could generate $204 million in gaming revenue in 2028, in addition to providing nearly 1,300 jobs. Revenue and job prospects will decline if Richmond can also move forward with a casino project. Petersburg officials struggle against Richmond getting a second bite of the apple.