MGM Submits National Harbor Plan

MGM Resorts International has submitted detailed plans for its casino resort at National Harbor in Maryland’s Prince George’s County, which include the participation of a local architecture firm.

MGM Resorts International has submitted detailed plans to Prince George’s County planning authorities outlining its resort at National Harbor, for which the operator won Maryland’s sixth casino license.

The site plan calls for a $925 million, 958,836-square-foot entertainment complex with a casino, retail, restaurants and a 300-room hotel, on 50 acres adjacent to and south of the Capital Beltway. The casino will include 3,600 slots and 140 table games. The complex will include a 1,200-seat theater, 35,000 square feet of meeting space and numerous restaurants and retail.

The interior layout is subject to change. For now, under the site plan, the theater is 31,051 square feet, located in the southeast corner of the building, adjacent to an 11,323-square-foot conservatory.

Prince George’s officials anticipate a planning board hearing on April 10, after which it would go to the county council for final review. Once the site plan is approved, MGM will have to obtain building permits before it can break ground, perhaps as soon as mid-summer. The goal is to open the casino by July 2016.

“We appreciate the county’s quick evaluation of these last important items,” Lorenzo Creighton, president of MGM National Harbor, said in a statement. “Their swift action now will help us meet our ambitious goal of opening our doors as soon as the law allows so we can begin generating revenues for the county.”

Meanwhile, MGM has hired local, minority-owned Arel Architects Inc. for a key role as liaison between MGM’s design team and Maryland’s Department of Permitting, Inspections and Enforcement. Arel will serve as the bridge between the Las Vegas-based team and Maryland regulators through all planning and construction phases.

Arel CEO Ronald Lipford served six years as architectural commissioner of the Prince George’s County Historic Preservation Commission, and his company has worked on several projects within the county, including fire stations, a police station and a high school.

“Arel Architects comes highly recommended, and we were impressed, not only with Ron’s strong roots in the community, but also by his company’s record of results,” Lorenzo Creighton, MGM National Harbor’s president, said in a statement. “We’re confident we’ve found a strong partner.”