Revere officials find major code violations at Wonderland site
Mayor Arrigo presses for property’s redevelopment
REVERE MAYOR BRIAN ARRIGO said city inspectors have identified code violations at the former Wonderland dog track that could lead to fines totaling $10,000 to $15,000 a day.
Arrigo indicated he has no immediate plans to collect the fines, but wants to use them as leverage to spur the owner of the property to move quickly to tear down the abandoned buildings at the site and begin redevelopment of the property. During his campaign for mayor, Arrigo made code enforcement and removal of neighborhood eyesores a high priority. Arrigo took office in January.
Wonderland shut down in 2010 after greyhound racing was banned statewide. In addition to the track, there are four buildings on the site, including a club house, a grandstand, a veterinary clinic, and an office building. Most of the buildings have been abandoned since the track closed and are in severe disrepair.
The owners of Suffolk Downs lost their bid to win an eastern Massachusetts casino license in September 2014 and since then have been trying to figure out what to do with the racetrack and the Wonderland site. CBW issued a statement Tuesday indicating the company plans to work closely with the Arrigo administration on redeveloping the Wonderland site.
“Mayor Arrigo has made it clear that Wonderland is a priority for the new administration,” the statement said. “We have taken the appropriate steps to keep the premises secure, including a Revere police detail, and have engaged environmental and construction professionals to work with the city to evaluate our next steps on the project.”Omar Boukli, Revere’s chief administrator, said the city’s Inspectional Services Department conducted an inspection at Wonderland last Thursday and uncovered numerous code violations. He said the inspectors are preparing a full report for the mayor, and then will work with the property’s owners to develop a timeline for demolishing the buildings.
Boukli said the city has been working cooperatively on issues related to the Wonderland site with Chip Tuttle, the chief operating officer at Suffolk Downs.