The lawsuit, sent to abc40, seeks to stop the developer from building in Revere, or anywhere else in Massachusetts.
Northeast Realty Associates owns the property on Route 32 where Mohegan Sun’s Palmer proposal would have gone, if it weren’t shot down by voters in November. In the suit, Northeast Realty alleges that Mohegan opened talks with Revere before Palmer voters even went to the polls.
“They can’t unilaterally break the agreement, which they’ve done, and it’s pretty apparent to me they’re holding the land so that nobody else can compete with them for a casino in Western Mass,” said Town Councilor Paul Burns.
The suit says that by showing interest in building a Revere Casino, Mohegan broke a saying they breached a 2008 Exclusivity Agreement, Ground Lease, and used unfair and deceptive practices.
In 2005 Northeast Realty acquired the 152 acres of land.
The agreements show Mohegan agreed to lease that land for 50 years. Mohegan Sun has until July 2017 to terminate the ground lease, as long as they give Northeast 90 days notice.
That hasn’t happened yet. It’s been months since the town voted no to a casino.
By Mohegan not releasing the property, community members are fed up, saying that it’s actually stunting their growth. “Now on the eve of the lawsuit, all of a sudden they’ve got a well-known company to come in and develop the property. They could’ve answered that question 3 or 4 months ago. Now all of a sudden it’s a priority? It just stinks,” Robert Young, spokesperson for Palmer Businesses for a Palmer Casino stated.
“You’ve been there for 6 years .You don’t know what you want to do as you leave the site? So that tells me that you have no real plans, you have no desire to be here, so either do it, or leave,”
While the town hasn’t really been able to discuss plans for what those 152 acres could be , they’re in early talks to develop another plot of land right near it, proposing a gas station, hotel, and high-end restaurant.
Northeast said in a statement,
We at Northeast Realty are very disappointed that we have come to the point of litigation with Mohegan Sun. We made every effort and extended every opportunity for Mohegan to discuss with us a mutually acceptable resolution of our differences. At every turn, Mohegan refused to engage in any substantive discussions, and finally we felt that we had no alternative but to pursue our legal remedies in court. This is not the course that we would have preferred, but we are prepared to carry forward with it aggressively in order to protect our interests.
Mohegan Sun countered, saying,
“Mohegan Sun devoted over five years and more than $25 million to create a world-class resort casino proposal in Palmer. But on November 5, 2013 the community made a decision, which we have respected. While we do not comment on pending litigation, it has been well established that there were no discussions between Mohegan Sun and the City of Revere or Suffolk Downs prior to the defeat of our proposal in Palmer’s November 5 referendum. Any suggestion to the contrary is completely without merit.”
Northeast also accuses Mohegan of using unfair and deceptive practices in violation of state law. The lawsuit also accuses Mohegan of holding onto its lease in Palmer to “prevent a competitor from building a destination resort that could expose their flagship casino in Connecticut to significant competition.