Norfolk Casino receives the green light in Virginia after long delay

December 29, 2022
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A deal has been struck, allowing Harbor Park stadium’s parking lot to be used during construction.

The long-delayed Norfolk Casino, Virginia, is finally moving forward with construction following the striking of a deal between developers and local officials. The deal will allow the parking lot at the city’s Harbor Park minor league baseball stadium to be utilized during the building phase of the project.

The Norfolk Casino is being developed by the Pamunkey Indian Tribe and billionaire Jon Yarbrough, with an estimated budget of $500m. It will be built by an organization called HeadWaters on the banks of Elizabeth River, more than two years after local Norfolk voters signed off on the casino blueprint.

The Norfolk City Council agreed to allow for compromise which will allow for the Harbor Park parking lot to serve as a ‘staging area’ for the temporary casino and the permanent resort afterward.

The lease agreement resolves a major hurdle for the Pamunkey Tribe, and now Yarbrough is determining how to handle the set-up of the project’s construction equipment and supplies.

Virginia’s gaming laws allow casino developers to open temporary gaming facilities during the construction of permanent resorts. The interim casinos are only permitted if they have the same mailing address as where the permanent casinos will operate in the future.

Norfolk Casino will be built on 13.5 acres of vacant land which is adjacent to Harbor Park and legal concerns over zoning rules hampered the project from being green-lit for years.

Now that the issue has been resolved, developers are keen to get underway with construction. HeadWaters project spokesperson Jay Smith commented: “Pursuant to the direction we received from City Council in July, the Tribe committed to delivering a site plan on the temporary casino.

“The Tribe is now working diligently with the city on the permanent site plan and land conveyance, which in turn will allow us to begin construction. The Tribe is excited and ready to start building.”


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