MGM to renovate MGM Macau; receives waiver to demolish old Zanetti school in Springfield

MGM to renovate MGM Macau; receives waiver to demolish old Zanetti school in SpringfieldA few hours after MGM China Holdings Ltd. posted its Q4 and full year revenue results for 2014, the company announced its plan to invest $100m this year to renovate its MGM Macau Hotel and casino.

MGM Chief Executive Grant Bowie said that the investment for the refurbishment of its hotel-casino is a way to remain competitive.

“Our future capital projects for MGM Macau include a redesigned main floor layout to improve traffic flow and operating efficiencies; as well we will be introducing a range of non-gaming products in the form of over 15 new retail outlets and re-conceptualized food and beverage offerings to add capacity and diversity,” Bowie added.

The company expects minimum impact to operations and plans to finish the renovation by 3Q of this year.

The MGM Macau renovation plans started last year and will include a total of 27 separate projects to be carried out over the period of three years.

MGM’s second Macau property, MGM Cotai, is due to open in in the second half of 2016 at a cost of US$2.9 billion.

“Construction of the hotel towers have now reached the 16th floor and progress is moving quickly,” Bowie said.

Meanwhile, the Springfield Historical Commission has granted MGM a waiver to demolish the old Zanetti school, paving way for the targeted March groundbreaking of MGM’s $800 million resort casino in Springfield, Massachusetts.

In a unanimous vote on Thursday, the commission granted MGM Springfield a waiver from a city ordinance prohibiting the demolition of any building that is at least 100 years old.

The old Zanetti School at 59 Howard St., which was damaged in the June 2011 tornado, were purchased by MGM along with the old state Armory at 29 Howard St. for $1.6 million each.

Charles Irving, president of MGM’s local retail development partner Davenport Properties, said he appreciates the commission granting the waiver since that the old Zanetti school is crucial to kicking off the whole $800 million project.

“The school is directly where our parking garage is supposed to go. During the construction of our project and the (I-91) viaduct, we are phasing construction,” Irving told The Republican. “During construction, that garage will be prioritized for approximately 3,000 of our construction workers, about 500 state workers and overflow will go toward courthouse workers.”

MGM is expected to announce the date of the demolition in the coming days.