Casino Giant Doesn't Need My Advice. Naturally, I Want to Give It to Him

Friday, March 22, 2013

Memo to Steve Wynn, Chairman/CEO, Wynn Resorts:
Go to web site of American Public Transportation Association (APTA):
Click on “Resource Library.”  Move to “Policy Development and Research.”  Open report titled “The New Real Estate Mantra: Location Near Public Transportation.”
Print complete report on high-end printer, hand to flunkies.  Order enough copies for mailing to every household in East Boston, Revere, and Winthrop, Massachusetts.
Ask secretary to come to your office.  Dictate the following for inclusion in mailing:
Dear Resident,
Kindly read this report from the American Public Transportation Association at your convenience.  I believe it has bearing on (a) the value of your home, and (b) a question that may soon be put to a vote in your community: Should a casino be allowed at Suffolk Downs?
The report shows that housing located near public transportation with high-frequency service was much more likely to increase in value during the Great Recession than similar properties away from transit links.  This was especially true around Boston. 
Here’s an explanatory quote from a recent APTA press release:
“While residential property values declined substantially between 2006 to 2011, properties close to public transit showed significantly stronger resiliency.  The following are a few examples from the study: In Boston, residential property in the rapid transit area outperformed other properties in the region by an incredible 129 percent.  In the Chicago public transit area, home values performed 30 percent better than the region; in San Francisco, 37 percent; Minneapolis-St. Paul, 48 percent; and in Phoenix, 37 percent.”
I’m against a casino at Suffolk Downs because I have a competing plan to build a casino in Everett.  Suffolk Downs’s loss would be my gain.
My selfish interests should not prevent you, however, from carefully considering what a casino would actually do for your community and the future value of your home.  My bias should not prevent you from asking if, in the long run, a residential redevelopment of Suffolk Downs, with its superb access to not one but two stations on the MBTA's Blue Line, would not be a better option. 
If a transit-oriented residential development were built at Suffolk Downs, instead of a casino,  it would obviously be very valuable.  And it would certainly strengthen the residential character of your community while enhancing the individual value of your home.
A casino at Suffolk Downs would be a nine-iron shot from some pretty good neighborhoods.  My casino in Everett, by contrast, would adjoin a catch basin sludge treatment facility, a state highway, a power plant, railroad tracks, and some old industrial and commercial properties.
Should you accept it when someone says a casino at Suffolk Downs is the best way now to help Revere, Winthrop and East Boston?  I say no, housing could be an equal or better way to go. 
Please read “The New Real Estate Mantra: Location Near Public Transportation.”  Thank you.
Mail report and cover letter in oversized white envelope. 
Print in red on outside of envelope:  Public Service Message from Wynn Resorts, Ltd.
Sit back. Smile.
Wait for Boston newspapers and TV stations to call.

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