Boston would receive $32 million to $52 million annually under an agreement with Caesars Entertainment for a $1 billion casino complex at Suffolk Downs racetrack, Mayor Thomas Menino said.
The larger amount under the so-called host community agreement would reflect casino profitability, anticipated impact fees and tax payments, Menino said in Tuesday's announcement.
"I have said from the start of this process that I wanted three things: A first-class, resort destination casino, an agreement that would benefit the people of East Boston, and a proposal that will be selected by the state Gaming Commission. We are well on our way to that and more," Menino said at a press conference.
The East Boston neighborhood, the site of the complex adjacent to Logan International Airport, would receive an upfront payment of $33.4 million to fund so-called community investments including capital projects. They include school and park improvements, a community center and a neighborhood business program.
The agreement also calls for $45 million in transportation and infrastructure improvements in East Boston and the neighboring city of Revere. The property straddles both communities. Those projects would include a flyover on state Route 1A; $9.32 million on City of Boston/East Boston intersections and roadways; subway station improvements; additional bicycle lanes; and subsidized water ferry transit.
Massachusetts lawmakers voted in 2011 to allow casino gambling. Suffolk Downs and Caesars, through Tuesday's agreement, have positioned themselves for the lone eastern Massachusetts casino license, one of three regional licenses the state will issue. Other finalists are developer Steve Wynn's Wynn Resorts plan for Everett, and a Foxwoods development in Milford.
For Suffolk Downs, the next step is a referendum, probably in East Boston only within 60 days. The state gambling law permits larger cities to conduct referendums only in the affected neighborhoods.
The project will aim for a gold standard under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, rating system for environmental soundness, create an additional 16 acres of open space and reduce the existing 12 acres of pavement.
Suffolk Downs opened in 1935, one year after Massachusetts lawmakers legalized pari-mutuel betting.