Norfolk On line casino Lawsuit Introduced by Waterside Developer Dismissed

Posted on: March 2, 2024, 10:22h. 

Final up to date on: March 2, 2024, 10:23h.

A lawsuit difficult the issuance of the Norfolk on line casino license has been dismissed within the Virginia Courtroom of Appeals.

Waterside Norfolk casino Cordish
The Waterside District in Norfolk. The Cordish Firms, which opened the redeveloped market in 2017, has been dealt one other authorized setback in its quest to problem the town’s on line casino. (Picture: Waterside District)

Baltimore-based Cordish Firms in July 2021 sued the Metropolis of Norfolk, the Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority (NRHA), and Metropolis Legal professional Bernard Pishko on allegations that it breached its 2013 contract to redevelop the Waterside District.

Cordish attorneys argued the settlement to revitalize the eating and leisure advanced alongside the Elizabeth River included lease phrases that offered the corporate with first dibs to a on line casino ought to Virginia permit playing to come back to the Hampton Roads metropolis. A 3-judge panel within the Virginia appellate court docket this week upheld a Richmond choose’s determination to dismiss Cordish’s lawsuit. Cordish operates within the metropolis as Norfolk District Associates (NDA).

“All of NDA’s assignments of error, and the underlying claims, activate the premise that the Metropolis and NRHA breached enforceable contractual obligations owed to NDA beneath the lease settlement. As a result of we discover that part was an unenforceable settlement to agree and a on line casino was not a permitted use beneath the phrases of the settlement, we discover that the circuit court docket didn’t err in sustaining the demurrers,” Decide Richard AtLee wrote.

The judges concluded {that a} on line casino didn’t qualify as a “permitted use” at Waterside and the town subsequently didn’t breach the lease by approving a on line casino elsewhere. Norfolk is working with the Pamunkey Indian Tribe on a $500 million venture referred to as HeadWaters Resort & On line casino.

The specific phrases of the settlement particularly exclude a on line casino from the definition of ‘Permitted Use.’ To additional emphasize {that a} on line casino doesn’t fall inside the ‘Permitted Use,’ part 10.2.1 states that use of the premises as a on line casino ‘is a use that’s not mirrored inside the monetary phrases of this Lease Settlement,’” AtLee continued.

Cordish didn’t instantly reply for touch upon whether or not it plans to enchantment the case to the Virginia Supreme Courtroom.

Lease Didn’t Embody On line casino Gaming

Cordish operates Dwell! hospitality and leisure districts in cities throughout the US. The agency additionally lends the Dwell! model to its on line casino companies in Maryland and Pennsylvania.

Cordish execs say they might have by no means agreed to speculate $40 million into Norfolk’s Waterside if that they had identified {that a} business on line casino resort could be allowed lower than a mile east of {the marketplace}.

Cordish contended in its lawsuit that the corporate thought it was securing the rights to any forthcoming on line casino improvement within the metropolis with its lease contract for Waterside. Cordish attorneys cited the lease language that specified that the town not “subsidize or present a performance-based grant for a restaurant and leisure improvement of over 75,000 sq. ft much like the venture” for at least 10 years.

Waterside Lifeline

It was greater than a decade in the past that Cordish got here to Norfolk’s rescue to assist jumpstart the Waterside District, a failing hospitality market that initially opened within the early Eighties.

The consuming and buying vacation spot fell on tough instances across the flip of the century, with altering client behaviors and competitors from different leisure districts blamed. The town subsequently took management of the property and later introduced in Cordish to renovate and replace the power.

The brand new Waterside District opened in 2017 after Cordish invested $40 million into its reimagination. The Waterside has since turn out to be a major downtown date evening and nightlife terminus.

Waterside right this moment has quite a few eating places and bars, dwell music areas, marriage ceremony capabilities, and outside eating and occasions through the hotter months.

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