Penn National Gaming, Inc. announced Tuesday that it has selected the former Delphi auto parts plant on the west side for an alternative casino location.
According to Penn National, it secured option for 123 acres located at West Broad Street and Georgesville Road.
In November, Ohio voters approved plans to build a casino in the Arena District but Penn National looked at alternative sites after it faced opposition from some groups in the Arena District.
Images Of Delphi Plant
"We looked carefully at the various alternative sites proposed by Mayor Michael Coleman and others," said Tim Wilmott, President and Chief Operating Officer of Penn National. "While we continue to conduct due diligence on the Delphi site, we currently believe it will be suitable for the $250 million-plus casino development we plan for the Columbus area, and we made the decision to option it based on our dialog with the community and city leaders."
According to Wilmott, Penn National explored a number of potential sites but chose the Delphi site because of its close highway access.
Columbus city leaders have spent the last month trying to convince casino developers to consider a site outside of the Arena District. Mayor Michael Coleman said the west side location will bring an economic spark to a new part of the city.
"You've heard of a two-for; this is a three-for-one," Coleman said. "Here we can get the Delphi Plant redeveloped, and that puts Westland Mall in a position to get redeveloped, and I think it puts the businesses in the area to strengthen and grow and have more opportunities and jobs."
The Delphi plant closed in 2007.
In order for Penn National to be authorized to build on the Delphi site, the Ohio General Assembly must first approve a Constitutional amendment by a three-fifths majority, and the issue then must go before Ohio voters this May.
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