- The $1.4 billion, 24-story MGM National Harbor casino complex in Prince George’s County, MD, opened for business Thursday. The complex exceeded its local hiring requirements during construction and is expected to result in a boon in local development, according to The Washington Post.
- In addition to a 125,000-square foot casino, the MGM also features a 308-room hotel, a 27,000 square-foot spa, a 3,000-seat theater, 18,000 square feet of shopping and dining and 50,000 square feet of convention and meeting space, according to Curbed DC.
- With 50% local employment, the project — under general contractor Whiting-Turner — exceeded the 40% initial goal set by the county, and developers said they will use 20% local, minority suppliers for the complex’s annual $60 million to $80 million operational spend.
The MGM has donated more than $1 million for job training and to local charities, and Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said the MGM created 6,000 construction jobs and 4,000 permanent jobs. Prince George’s County executive Rushern Baker told the press that area real estate values had increased 8% prior to the grand opening and that he expected that trend to continue.
This project is a boon for a county that has had to play the waiting game lately with large-scale developments. The $5.6 billion, 16.2-mile Purple Line rail project is on hold while the Federal Transit Administration takes another look at its ridership projections by order of a federal judge. Prince George’s County is also waiting to hear whether the General Services Administration will select a local site for a new $2 billion FBI headquarters. That announcement should come in March.
In late October, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission gave the green light to another massive casino and hotel development, the $2.1 billion Wynn Boston Harbor in Everett, MA. That project is supposed to create 4,000 construction and 4,000 permanent jobs by its scheduled opening in June 2019. Like the MGM in Maryland, local officials are expecting the casino to spur additional development nearby. Unlike its National Harbor counterpart, however, the Wynn project was delayed due to legal challenges.