PLAINVILLE – A report by researchers at UMass Amherst says it’s hard to say what impact the state’s three casinos have had on commercial real estate in their area.
The report, from the university’s research team on the social and economic impacts of gambling in Massachusetts, was presented at the state’s latest gambling commission meeting.
The authors said it was particularly difficult to assess the impact of Plainridge Park Casino – the state’s oldest legal gambling site – on its host city of Plainville and surrounding communities since Plainridge opened in June 2015 due to the small number of commercial properties involved. “(I) it is difficult to discern whether the construction of the Plainridge Park Casino has had an impact on commercial selling prices in the area …”, the report said.
The report also examined the impact of MGM Springfield on this city and region of western Massachusetts and that of Encore Boston Harbor in Everett.
The report’s findings follow on from other studies that examined housing and real estate conditions in host cities before the respective licenses were announced. Casino supporters and critics, respectively, discussed the potential impact of casinos on their communities.
The report noted that the casino on Route 1, near its interchange with I-495 and major tourist attractions such as Gillette Stadium, Xfinity Center and Wrentham Village Premium Outlets, is relatively far from the city center. “Most of Plainridge Park Casino’s immediate neighbors are large retail chains that could benefit from being close to the Interstate. As such, the development of Plainridge Park Casino has had a relatively minor impact on the built environment of Plainville itself.
Nonetheless, the report states: “While the area of commercial buildings in surrounding communities grew at a rate similar to that of the state, Plainville’s growth rate suggests that commercial buildings erected in Plainville were on average larger. than those built throughout the state or its surrounding communities.
The report also notes that the growth of commercial real estate in the city since 2010 “has exceeded that of the Commonwealth, with growth of around 8%. The surrounding communities initially grew slower than the Commonwealth as a whole, but quickly overtook it after Plainridge Park Casino got its license.
Mark Melnik, Head of the SEIGMA Economics Team at the UMass Donahue Institute, said: “This study highlights that while state casinos have likely helped strengthen local real estate markets, casinos have grown. also developed alongside a strong and broader economic recovery after the Great Recession. in Massachusetts. In this, commercial real estate markets have tended to be strong in all three host communities, but we don’t see any dramatic deviations from the statewide trend. That said, there are significant differences in housing conditions between host communities.