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Mohegan Sun Ending Lease of Site in Palmer

PALMER — The Republican reported today that Mohegan Sun is ending its 99-year lease with Northeast Realty for the former casino site off Thorndike. The casino giant sited an inability to find a major retailer to anchor a proposed development there as the reason for its action. In a prepared statement, Northeast Realty said the move comes as no surprise and “confirms Northeast’s position that Mohegan Sun never intended to legitimately pursue non-gaming development” at the site. Former town councilor Paul Burns agreed with that sentiment. In a strongly worded statement e-mailed to BusinessWest, he said, “the statement today from Mohegan Sun regarding their desire to abandon Palmer is hardly surprising to those of us who have followed the trail of broken promises and misstatements since Mohegan entered into negotiations with Suffolk Downs in October, well before Palmer’s voters had even had their say.” He continued, “the premise, however, that Mohegan Sun has spent any significant amount of time trying to find a tenant is laughable. As recently as April Mohegan Sun reps, in response to a request from three Palmer town councilors, indicated that they simply did not have time to pursue development in Palmer as they were busy with the Revere project. Now barely three months later they have somehow completed an extensive search for a partner and came up empty? Clearly Mohegan Sun had no interest in developing this site for any purpose other than a casino. I believed when they initially claimed interest in non-gaming development that they were simply attempting to hold onto the site to prevent another company from building there should MGM not be awarded the Western Mass. license. Now barely 30 days after MGM secures that license Mohegan Sun’s actions speak loud and clear. From where I sit it is clear, they had no intention of building here. Obviously Mohegan Sun is not the ‘good neighbor’ they claimed to be.”

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