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Wynn Boston Harbor Killing Off 80% Of Its Retail Space, Citing E-Commerce Competition

Rendering of Encore Boston Harbor

Despite its initial proposal, including a variety of high-end shopping, the Wynn Boston Harbor in Everett will not compete with the region's retail hubs when it opens in 2019.

Wynn Boston Harbor president Robert DeSalvio informed the Massachusetts Gaming Commission this month the amount of retail space at the $2.4B Everett casino would drop by more than 80%. While speaking before the MGC in 2014, Wynn Resorts CEO Steve Wynn said the the project could feature up to 100K SF of luxury retail akin to bringing Newbury Street to Everett, the Boston Globe reports.

The complex broke ground last year with plans still calling for 53K SF of retail. That figure has since been reduced to 9K SF (roughly the size of a Chili’s and freestanding bank branch combined). DaSalvio pointed to shoppers preferring to shop online as motivation for the smaller retail footprint. A spokesperson for Wynn Boston Harbor told Bisnow there will only be five Wynn-owned stores when the complex opens. 

Retail is undergoing a seismic shift, with many brick-and-mortar chains closing their stores by the hundreds. The number of retailer bankruptcies in the last year has already surpassed the height of the Great Recession.

The company is heeding advice from area leaders to satisfy the demand for more event space. The casino and hotel project’s ballroom will triple in size using some of the space set aside for shops. The 36K SF ballroom will be the second-largest in the city, after one at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center in the Seaport.