LA CENTER, WA-The La Center City Council has tabled a memorandum of understanding with the Cowlitz tribe regarding the operation of a proposed $510-million casino hotel-complex here that would sit next to Interstate 5. The 152-acre development site is located 26 miles north of Downtown Portland; if built, the planned 877,000-sf complex would be by far the closet to the city.

The tabling of the cooperation agreement between the tribe and the city was a unanimous decision. The council is awaiting an update to a 2004 study that predicted a casino would hurt the city’s card rooms. The card rooms generated $3.7 million for the city in 2005; the study says those revenues could decline by more than 60% if a large casino opens in the area.

The MOU is in part about providing the city some security in that regard. The MOU proposes to guarantee the city up to $3 million annually for 10 years to offset any loss in revenue. Drafted by the tribe, the agreement states that the guarantee would be reduced should one or more of the cardrooms go out of business.

The next stage of the process is a draft environmental impact statement that the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs is expected to release in the next 30- to 60 days. The study is being prepared by a Sacramento-based company for BIA. A preliminary draft of the document indicated plans for a 134,150-sf casino, a 250-room hotel in an eight-story building and nearly 200,000 sf of restaurants, bars, retail shops and entertainment venues. The development would create 3,151 jobs–1,000 more than La Center’s total population–to become Clark County’s largest employer, according to the preliminary data.

The Cowlitz Tribe submitted its application to place the property in federal trust in March 2004. Placing land in federal trust exempts it from state and local taxes and local land use regulations and gives the tribe the right to have a gaming component on the property.

This is the second time around the process for the Cowlitz Tribe, which keeps its headquarters in Longview, WA, about 40 miles north of the Oregon-Washington border. It withdrew its initial application, filed in March 2002, after the BIA’s central office informed them that the application would not be accepted if the application didn’t make clear that a casino was an option and include an environmental assessment.

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Once you are an ALM digital member, you’ll receive:

  • Unlimited access to GlobeSt and other free ALM publications
  • Access to 15 years of GlobeSt archives
  • Your choice of GlobeSt digital newsletters and over 70 others from popular sister publications
  • 1 free article* every 30 days across the ALM subscription network
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM events and publications

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?


NOT FOR REPRINT

© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from www.copyright.com. All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.

 

GlobeSt

Join GlobeSt

Don't miss crucial news and insights you need to make informed commercial real estate decisions. Join GlobeSt.com now!

  • Free unlimited access to GlobeSt.com's trusted and independent team of experts who provide commercial real estate owners, investors, developers, brokers and finance professionals with comprehensive coverage, analysis and best practices necessary to innovate and build business.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and GlobeSt events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including ThinkAdvisor.com and Law.com.

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join GlobeSt

Copyright © 2024 ALM Global, LLC. All Rights Reserved.