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Gambling venue developer pledges land for transit

The current OFS property as shown from above where Dan O'Leary proposed to build a mixed-used entertainment complex.

The current OFS property as shown from above where Dan O'Leary proposed to build a mixed-used entertainment complex.

NORCROSS -- Dan O'Leary says his plan to create a $1 billion gambling and entertainment venue in the Gwinnett Village area will bring a lot to the community: 2,500 jobs, $350 million in lottery revenue for the HOPE Scholarship.

On Friday, he added another perk for the community, with a pledge to donate nine acres of property to the county for a possible transit station and connection.

Developer O'Leary has an option to buy 122 acres along Interstate 85 and Jimmy Carter Boulevard from fiber-optics manufacturer OFS, which would continue operations at its plant. He is hoping to build a video lottery terminal complex, if the Georgia Lottery Board gives approval, as well as a hotel, parking garage, performance venue, spa, shops and restaurants. Recently, football legend Herschel Walker announced he would open his first restaurant there.

"We want to be good partners to the community. One of the best ways we can do this is by giving back and helping improve accessibility in the region, which will also support convention business," O'Leary said, promising to include a park-and-ride lot for commuters at the location, which is key in the much-hyped proposal to extend a transit line from Doraville's MARTA station to the Arena at Gwinnett Center.

"This is a huge investment for the I-85 corridor and helps us to attract high quality economic development like the proposed mixed-use entertainment complex," said Chuck Warbington, executive director of the Gwinnett Village Community Improvement District. "This is the first step for a commitment of private funding one that could be matched with public dollars to help provide Gwinnett with options for regional connectivity."

The donation, worth $4 million, is contingent on lottery board approval to allow video lottery terminals, which look similar to slot machines.

Gwinnett is currently involved in a $1.2 million study, funded by a federal grant, to study alternative transit modes along the Interstate 85 corridor.

Comments

Karl 2 years, 5 months ago

I hope this thing gets the green light to be built.

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Mack711 2 years, 5 months ago

Vote on this issue now while our leaders are in China. It may be the best thing we can get. This is a plan that may work and collet a lot of tax money. Just remember if you do not want this then do not go to this facility, but do not stop others who want it just because you may not.

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R 2 years, 5 months ago

Venue operator keep quiet or this will fail and we the county residents will be stuck funding MARTA long after your demise...

IF we wanted MARTA and the high priced foolishness it brings we would ALREADY be a part.

NOW if MARTA is a need for YOUR business plan’s success , please feel free to make an offer on the arena downtown - that should help Atlanta build its new open stadium instead of taking OUR dollars to support MARTA while they redirect their resources in that project .

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Mack711 2 years, 5 months ago

WOW!!! Now that MARTA is involved would that not require a seperate vote? Lets leave MARTA out of this and vote only on the Casino and nothing else. Keep MARTA in Atlanta and not have Gwinnett, Cobb and Clayton bail them out.

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BuzzG 2 years, 5 months ago

Let's see.

Cost of 9 acres for developer - $50,000 an acre is $450,000.

Cost for Marta extension and new station for taxpayers is $1,000,000,000 plus.

Guess who wins and who loses.

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dentaldawg83 2 years, 5 months ago

I believe he would do better keeping any comments about MARTA to himself...all he would need is a hub for Gwinnett Transit buses to pick up and offload passengers to and from several destinations (one of which could be Doraville MARTA station)..

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kevin 2 years, 5 months ago

NO, NO, NO. This is a huge coverup for land developers. Notice the line where it says "public money:our tax money?" Casinos only have proven to bring more crime (all sorts), and provide a place for "crooks in Brooks Bros. suits" to come in and take all our money out of town. You don't beat casinos, you go there to lose for fun. The Georgia Lottery Board better gets its head out of the sand and quickly kill this project.

As for MARTA, NO WAY to any extension of that line into Gwinnett. Haven't you all read the papers lately and a while back? They have such financial problems withiin that they can't function anymore. No more MARTA until they get their house in order.

Both of these projects are going to be subsidized by taxpayers, something we have had enough of. This is not the kind of businesses that GWinnett should be looking for if they are not lying about our "quality of life." The BOC better get thrown out over this.

Want a casino? Do it cheaper and without all this land stealing business and dump a casino boat in Lake Lanier. That will stop all the land selling and grabing and other business profits that will have to be provided with public money. How stupid do they think we are? Like every other projection for a project YOU want to build, they are false. Don't think for a minute that O'Leary isn't a big cog in this wheel and is not doing this for his financial gains; profits paid for by taxpayers.

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kevin 2 years, 5 months ago

Forgot to mention some other fact in the article. O'Leary wants to build a $1 billion project and he notes that $4 million will be donated! What a small %. The rest from taxpayers' pockets and into his.

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Karl 2 years, 5 months ago

And how much are you personally donating, pinhead?

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kevin 2 years, 5 months ago

not a dime for a casino, pinhead.

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Reason 2 years, 5 months ago

Talk about a PRIME LOCATION for an AIRPORT! How stupid can one be to not put it here? Major interstate access to all northern metro Atlanta areas, Plenty of room for expansion and that would make a CID envious and a MARTA rail, just a few miles to tag on to. Why dosen't Georgia DOT and the Gwinnett BOC jump on this? A golden opportunity is staring you right in the face and you are too blind to see it. INCREDIBLE!!

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kevin 2 years, 5 months ago

Build an airport somewhere other than Gwinnett. Try near the Air Force base in Marrieta.

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Reason 2 years, 5 months ago

Jimmy Carter International.

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kevin 2 years, 4 months ago

Are the BOC on the take again? What a cheap price O'Leary is puttingup for a yes vote. Didn't know the BOC is that easy to buy.

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