Last week, Suffolk Downs opened its doors to East Boston residents so they could get a first hand look at the new 3D model of the $1 billion Caesars Resort at Suffolk Downs. Aside from the opportunity to view the model of the resort casino, attendees at last Tuesday’s open house also got the chance to look at updated renderings of the resort as well as model of the proposed Boardman Street Flyover.
“It was very easy to understand,” said Dick O’Brien. “One gentleman, I believe he was one of the architects, spent a lot of time with us going over things so it was very informative. We had a lot of our questions answered.”
Marie Gardina said that while she supports a casino at Suffolk Downs she still wanted to attend the open house to get a true feel of the size and scope of the project.
“I think they have a lot of really good bones to work with here,” she said pointing to the clubhouse. “I think the 3D model was a good way to show us in the community how they plan to make the entire property better.”
Frank Celona said he was impressed by the presentation.
“I think they put on a pretty good show,” he said. “They are trying hard to show us what the property can be and I think they did a pretty good job.”
Luis Garcia said he hasn’t paid much attention to the plans over the past few months but wanted to come by last week’s event to get a sense of the proposal.
“My first impression is that it looks like a really nice project,” said Garcia. “If they address the community’s concerns about traffic and other things I think it could be good for East Boston.”
Garcia’s friend, Digna Gerena said the main concern she raised with Suffolk Downs’ management was over jobs.
“I told them I want to see these jobs go to people in East Boston and Revere,” Gerena explained. “But I told them I don’t want people here just cleaning the casino or hotel but to have the opportunity to be trained and get good paying jobs in management.”
John Wyatt and his wife, Cathy, who live next door to Suffolk Downs on Waldemar Avenue, said the 3D model and Boardman Street Flyover model put things in perspective.
“I think it brought the whole development to life,” said Wyatt. “It gives you a different perspective that just looking at drawing on a board. You can really see Suffolk Downs’ vision for where things will be placed. Also I think the model and proposal of the flyover is very important because it’s a win/win for the neighborhood and addresses many longstanding traffic concerns.”
However, residents like Leroy Folsom said that while he was impressed with the model he said the project doesn’t do enough to address Waldemar Avenue traffic.
“You still have to go north and then turn around at Route 16 to go south from Waldemar,” said Folsom. “I wish there was a way they could address that in the project.”