Petersburg City Council Votes Yes on Cordish Companies Casino Project

Petersburg City Council has decided to grant The Cordish Companies the contract to build a $1.4-billion casino resort which will be developed over the next year and help boost the city’s economy in the next 15 years. The casino has been part of fierce debates among locals, but the Council ended up voting unanimously to grant the development rights to the Baltimore company in a bid to resuscitate the local economy.

Cordish Companies Get Pole Position for New Petersburg Project

The new project will sprawl on 80 acres along Interstate 95 at Wagner Road in the southeastern corner of the city. However, some challenges still remain, cautions city manager John March Altman. For one, Richmond is trying to pass a similar casino resort project that could be built less than 25 miles away from the Cordish would-be property. The good news is that voters struck down the idea altogether in 2021, but there are attempts to push forward with the project.

Cordish COO Zed Smith has been unequivocal about the implications of such a decision, arguing that his company would not be able to compete against another casino resort in the region. However, he remains confident about the success of the Cordish resort and has described it as a “once-in-a-generation opportunity.”

Locals are also stoked about the opportunity. ”Nothing like this has come along in Petersburg’s modern history,” said former city attorney Michael Packer, cited by Richmond Times-Dispatch which did the original reporting.

Cordish is not a surprise choice for City Council and experts either. The company has an established track record of operating riches777 a number of prominent brands, including Hard Rock properties and the Live! Casinos. The company has run operations in Kansas City, St Louis, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and Hollywood, among others.

First Stage Would Include a Massive Casino Resort and 200-Room Hotel

Should things go according to the original plan though, Cordish should start with a 230,000-square-foot casino and a 200-room hotel. There will naturally be dining and retail business options to include as well, and the completion of this first stage of the project should take about two years to bring to completion.

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Richmond though is not giving up just yet with the city attempting to have a second voter referendum this year on the matter. The project is said to bring in $214 million in tax revenue over the next 15 years, an amount that voters have remained fairly skeptical about. The fate of the Cordish property is not yet sealed, but the project seems more plausible today than it did two years ago.