Wynn: Casino work on hold because of Somerville appeal

Wynn Resorts is putting its $1.7 billion casino project for the Boston-area temporarily on hold.

Robert DeSalvio, who is overseeing the development, said Wednesday major work at the planned waterfront site in Everett will have to wait because of the latest legal challenge by the nearby city of Somerville.

But he stressed the Las Vegas casino giant remains committed to the project, which holds the lone gambling license for the lucrative Boston market.

Somerville has filed a series of legal challenges against the development, citing negative health and environmental impacts. The latest is an administrative appeal of the state’s decision to award the development a key environmental permit.

Wynn had hoped to break ground this spring on the casino complex overlooking Boston and targeted late 2018 for its opening.

Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria said Wednesday it is time for Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone to forget the appeal. 

"Inundate his phone," DeMaria said. "Email him, go on his Facebook page, convince him that what he is doing is wrong."

The appeal could stall the opening for at least six months. 

On Wednesday, Curtatone spoke out about the appeal. His main concerns include traffic. He said the casino will put 18,000 more cars onto Somerville streets, threatening the health of residents. He said Wynn must come up with traffic mitigation plan before moving forward. 

"No amount of political theater and public harassment from Wynn will keep me as the mayor of Somerville from doing my job and advocating for the health and well being of the residents of our community, the city of Somerville," he said.  

(Copyright (c) 2016 Sunbeam Television and Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)