Virginians can now celebrate after Headwaters casino in Norfolk found a new location. Plans to build the temporary casino halted in July following the changes in the address for the site. The interim casino is expected to open and run until the permanent facility is launched.
Headwaters casino will stand on the same site as the permanent casino. The 35-foot tall facility will occupy a space that could fit 300 parked cars and a train stadium. Featuring a bar, restaurant, and casino floor, the facility will occupy 45,000 square feet.
The owners are still waiting for a permit and a green light from the city council to commence construction. Once that is underway, the facility construction will take six months.
The temporary Headwaters casino will operate for a short while, awaiting the construction of the permanent structure. While the timeline of the permanent casino is not publicly advertised, the facility is expected to launch in 2024.
Original Plans Halted Following Address Change Issues
The original plans to build a temporary casino in Harbor Park in July were halted following some terms in the 2020 Norfork casino referendum. The referendum allowed casinos on properties in proximity to the city address of 200 Park Avenue.
Unfortunately, Harbor Park was a land past the set boundary, raising concerns that building a casino would go against the referendum.
The address for Harbor Park has been 150 Park Avenue for years. However, in an article published in June 2022 at Virginia-Pilot, the address for the stadium had changed to 200 Park Avenue. This new address started showing on the city's website and other documents leading to speculation that Norfolk had changed the address to skirt around the casino referendum.
The planning commissioners noted the changes while approving the temporary casino. The new address was also changed on the Norfolk AIR, the city's website, to show the new address as 200 Park Avenue instead of 150 Park Avenue.
City officials were asked about the changes. Led by Chip Filer, the City Manager, the city officials did not give satisfactory answers. They lightly noted that the changes were a result of routine boundary adjustments.
The construction of the temporary casino did not commence, though. Instead, the city council announced in July that the plans to build the casino were halted following concerns over the address change.
Headwaters Casino and Resorts
Pamunkey Indian Tribe is the parent behind the Headwaters Casino and Resort in Norfolk, Virginia. The Indian tribe won the project after signing a development program with Norfolk. Inside the agreement was to build a casino on 13.4 acres along the Elizabeth River.
The project is predicted to cost over $500 million. The amount is planned to bring forth a casino featuring a rooftop pool, a steakhouse, a rooftop entertainment venue, an event center, several restaurants, a spa, 300 hotel-room, 150 table games, and 3,000 slot machines.
Statistics show that the Headwaters casino will generate at least $34 million yearly for the city. This translates to a 4 or 5 percent increase in Norfolk's annual revenue.
This is a good figure, especially following the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic that left hundreds of employees jobless. The city will earn at least $33 million yearly from the casino.