Wonderland Dog Track announced on Thursday afternoon that they would be acquired by a subsidiary of Suffolk Downs within 90 days, and would then sell the property to a very well known developer.
Wondy CEO Dick Dalton told the Journal and the Revere License Commission that SSR (Sterling Suffolk Racecourse) Acquisitions, headed up by Suffolk’s William Mulrow, was preparing to purchase Wonderland by at least December 15.
Dalton told the Journal that the property would then be transferred over to a well-known developer that cannot be disclosed at this time.
"At the end of the day it will be something the city will be very proud of," said Dalton. "It’s someone I’ve done business with for over 30 years and is very well known throughout New England and has done tremendous projects all up and down the East Coast that can be looked at once he is made public. Even if we did get gaming going, this has been in the works for quite some time."
Dalton said that as a result of the option on Wonderland retained by Suffolk Downs, the dog track would have been re-developed no matter what the outcome on gaming. The workers and assets would have simply been transferred to Suffolk Downs upon the passage of expanded gaming Legislation.
Now, though, it appears the property will be re-developed, but the workers will have nowhere to go.
A source at Suffolk Downs confirmed that the scenario laid out by Dalton is correct – that SSR intends to purchase the property this year.
Another source indicated that part of the development – the anchor of the project – might be a Lowe’s Hardware Store.
Mayor Tom Ambrosino said that no one had been in yet to speak with the city. He did indicate that the city would not be looking for any new residential developments.
"They’ve not been in to see us, but as I’ve said before, the city thinks very highly of Suffolk’s ownership, so we’d be happy for them to acquire the property," said the mayor. "We’d prefer a commercial development, some kind of small office building. Retail would be okay. I don’t think [residential] would be something the city would be overly enthusiastic about, but we would have to see the details."