Everett T land appraised at $2.76m
Valuation done in 2013; Wynn deal a year later
WYNN RESORTS PAID $6 million earlier this year for three small, vacant parcels of MBTA land in Everett that were appraised in 2013 for $2.76 million, according to documents released by the transit agency.
Citing sources, CommonWealth reported on May 4 that Wynn paid nearly twice what the land was appraised for, but T officials did not release the appraisal. The transit agency this week released the document, which shows the three parcels were valued at $875,000, $785,000, and $1.1 million, for a total of $2.76 million.
The land deal has become the focus of intense scrutiny, with the mayor of Revere, Dan Rizzo, calling on Attorney General Maura Healey and Inspector General Glenn Cunha to investigate. Rizzo said Wynn paid far less than the land is worth and also charged that the deal was “fundamentally flawed, contrary to public policy, and illegal.”
State transportation officials acknowledge the T land was transferred to Wynn improperly before Wynn Resorts had obtained its environmental permit for the casino project. The land deal is currently on hold, with both the money and the deed to the property in escrow, pending the outcome of the state’s environmental review of the casino project.
The timing is interesting. On October 4, 2013, Richard Davey, the state transportation secretary at the time, sent a memo to then-governor Deval Patrick’s chief of staff updating him on the progress of the land sale talks, suggesting the net value of the deal to the state could be $30 million. The deal outlined by Davey appeared to involve far more land than the three parcels that were eventually sold, since it would have required Wynn Resorts to build a new operations facility and parking garage on the site.Subsequent to October 4, Wynn Resorts must have pushed for a deal involving the three smaller parcels of land, which triggered the request for an appraisal. Subsequent to the appraisal request – but before it was completed – the negotiations for the land stalled and didn’t revive until almost a year later. A deal was reached in September 2014 and the land sale closed in March of this year.
In his report, Foster said his appraisal was based on “extraordinary assumptions and hypothetical conditions.” He said his valuation was based on “the proposed use of these parcels, the proposed development of the adjoining site with a casino, and the proposed zoning changes for the area.” He added one caveat, however. “I have not developed an opinion of the value of these parcels for the intended use,” he said.