Cordish Cos., Bruce Smith Enterprise to develop $1.4B Virginia casino resort

Pending voter approval, real estate developers the Cordish Cos. and Bruce Smith Enterprise will build a Live! Casino & Hotel to anchor a $1.4 billion mixed-use development in Petersburg, Virginia, the companies announced. 

The 200-room resort will span 400,000 square feet, including 35,000 square feet of meetings and events space. The hotel will include 20 suites, a 3,000-seat entertainment venue and a pool and fitness center. The hotel will also feature eight food and entertainment concepts, including three spaces reserved for local Petersburg businesses. 

The casino will include a bar and restaurant, 1,000 slot machines, 46 live-action table games and a 15-table poker room. 

The resort and surrounding development, dubbed Live! Gaming & Entertainment District, is located off Interstate 95.

Baltimore-based Cordish Cos. and Virginia developer Bruce Smith Enterprise aim to open an initial first phase casino within a year of voter approval. 

The firms have a longstanding relationship, according to the announcement, and their joint venture partnership will be the first in the gaming and entertainment industry to have a minority-owned business enterprise as co-development partner. 

The joint venture’s Petersburg-based ownership team, which makes up 50% minority equity participation, will become the largest minority ownership opportunity in the gaming and hospitality industry in the country, according to the announcement. 

Cordish Cos. is expanding in the South and is currently under construction on other projects in Florida, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina and Texas. 

The company opened a Nashville Live! in Tennessee in October, and in December, the developer broke ground on another Live! Casino & Hotel in Louisiana. A North Texas casino resort, Texas Live!, is also underway. 

In South Florida, the developer is working with Caesars Entertainment on The Pomp, a 233-acre mixed-use development that will include two hotels and a remodeled Harrah’s Pompano Beach casino. 

Bruce Smith Enterprise previously co-developed the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Washington, D.C.; a Hilton Garden Inn in Blacksburg, Virginia; and a Hyatt House Hotel in Virginia Beach. 

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