Warren Co. commissioners will take up proposed $175M facility on Tuesday
Paul McKibben reports:
Warren County commissioners on Tuesday are hoping to approve a plan for a $175 million racino that would be built near Monroe and Interstate 75.
Anchoring the 120-acre site would be a 188,000-square-foot casino with up to 2,500 video lottery terminals, a 5/8-mile racetrack for standardbred harness racing and a two-level grandstand with 700 seats. A racino combines horse racing with video slots.
The racino would feature four restaurants, a gift shop, a 10,000-square-foot maintenance building and a paddock building/holding barn for the short-term stabling of up to 85 horses.
It is planned for the northeast corner of Ohio 63 and Union Road in Turtlecreek Township near Monroe. The land was formerly a state prison farm. Lebanon Correctional Institution is directly across from the site on Ohio 63.
The closest residential subdivision is Shaker Run, which is about four miles to the northeast.
A report from Stan Williams, planning director of the Warren County Regional Planning Commission, said a noise impact study found minimal potential impact to that development.
Williams noted there is a hotel, restaurants and retail in the immediate vicinity that compliment the racino.
“There is also potential for expansion and development in the vicinity that could cater to the racino customers,” Williams’ report said.
Miami Valley Gaming & Racing, a joint venture between Churchill Downs Inc. and Delaware North Cos. Gaming & Entertainment, hasn’t named the Warren County racino yet. The Lebanon Raceway would move from the Warren County Fairgrounds in Lebanon and become the new racino.
Construction could start next month, with completion by December 2013.
The racino would employ 700 people with the casino open 24 hours a day/seven days a week.
Operators would spend more than $175 million, including $110 million on construction.
Last month, commissioners approved a tax increment financing district for the site that enables commissioners to fund public improvements such as roads at or around the site.
Road work to the area includes widening Ohio 63 and realigning Union Road where a 90-degree dogleg is located and improving the intersection of Union and Greentree roads.
Dan Corey, project coordinator in the Warren County Engineer’s Office, said the existing intersection of Ohio 63 and Union Road is near a railroad track. He said officials are examining relocating Union Road.
The Warren County racino is one of five racinos pending state approval.
Scioto Downs in Columbus opened June 1 and is the only racino operating in Ohio.