Cordish dismisses critics of casino timing
Now that zoning has been secured, how long will it take to open a planned slots casino at Arundel Mills mall?
Developer David Cordish said in an interview that Maryland's largest casino is still on track for a late 2011 debut and took aim at critics who have called that target unrealistic, given the array of construction-related permits the company must acquire.
Cordish had particularly choice words for the Maryland Jockey Club, which brought out a land-use lawyer shortly before the Anne Arundel County zoning vote to say it could take four years to navigate the permitting process at the mall site. The Jockey Club operates Laurel Park racetrack, which had been considered a leading slots site until earlier this year.
"What do they know about anything? They're in bankruptcy," Cordish said, referring to the track's owners, Magna Entertainment Corp., and its operators.
In last week's interview, Cordish also downplayed potential environmental and other issues that critics have said could prolong the permitting process. Baltimore-based Cordish Cos. is planning to build the stand-alone 4,750-machine facility on mall property outside the entrance to the food court.
"I have normal permitting," Cordish said. "I don't have a single flower I'm moving. I'm building on a parking lot."
Among those who say Cordish's timetable is realistic: Anne Arundel County Executive John R. Leopold (R). Leopold, who strongly backed the zoning legislation, said the casino will be treated no differently than any other construction project but said he sees no reason at this point why Cordish could not open as advertised.
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