The Pamunkey Indian Tribe and the Pamunkey Indian Gaming Authority, which are developing the Norfolk Casino and Resort, have released updated renderings of the intended property along the Norfolk waterfront.
The renderings show the $500 million casino and 300-room hotel project overlooking Harbor Park baseball stadium and the Elizabeth River in downtown Norfolk.
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The plan is to develop a marina at the resort so boaters can dock to access the casino, resort and stadium, according to a news release.
Harbor Park is home to the Norfolk Tides, the Triple-A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles.
An outdoor infinity pool overlooks center and left fields of the stadium, as shown in one rendering. The casino will feature table games, slot machines and a sportsbook. The resort also will have a spa, multiple restaurants and bars, an indoor pool, an outdoor infinity pool and an entertainment venue.
There also will be an attached parking garage that can accommodate 2,000 vehicles.
HKS and Baskerville are the architecture team for the Norfolk project. HKS was the lead architect on the MGM National Harbor Casino in Maryland and led design on the Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium.
Baskerville is Virginia-based and worked on several projects in Norfolk, including the interior of the Hilton Norfolk The Main Hotel and the Glass Light Hotel and Gallery.
“I’m confident that this project will exceed the expectations of everyone. It will be the destination of choice for gaming in Virginia,” Robert Gray, chief of the Pamunkey Indian Tribe, said in the release on Wednesday. “We are living up to every promise we made and are determined to make this a project of which Norfolk can be proud.”
Norfolk Casino One of Four in Development
Once open, the Norfolk casino and resort is expected to generate $30 million annually for the city in tax revenue and draw 6.2 million tourists a year, according to estimates.
The casino in Norfolk is one of four currently in development in the state. Bristol, Danville and Portsmouth also passed referendums in November to allow for casino development.
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The General Assembly passed legislation, signed by Gov. Ralph Northam in 2020, to allow for casino development in the state, if voters in a locality pass it.
A casino is on the ballot in November in Richmond. The city said Wednesday it has narrowed its proposals to two: a $600 million project by the Cordish Cos., and a $517 million proposal by Urban One, which would be the only majority Black-owned casino resort in the country.
The city is expected to select a final proposal in June. The Pamunkey Tribe’s Richmond proposal was rejected at the end of March.
Casinos Look to Open in 2022 or 2023
The four casinos in development are pointing toward opening in 2022 or 2023.
Once the Virginia Lottery Board approves its operator license application, developers would break ground, according to the news release. The first phase of the project is scheduled for completion in 2023.
At the Virginia Lottery Board meeting on Wednesday, Executive Director Kevin Hall said the lengthy approval process and vetting the applications of the four developers’ operators licenses would make opening a casino, even with a temporary permit, unlikely this year.