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Would a Casino in Foxborough Put Your Home's Value at Risk?

A look into the impact a possible casino would have on home values in Foxborough.

Aside from a potential increase in local revenue, job creation and a larger business tax base, proponents of the Wynn-Kraft Foxborough casino venture are citing another positive: a potential increase to home values. According to the MLS (Multiple Listing Service), a single-family home in Foxboro averages $416,000. This figure is based on selling prices of homes sold over the past six months.

"There are numerous studies that clearly show that casinos have either no effect on housing prices, or a modest positive effect, likely due to increase in employment and subsequent sales activity," said Scott Farmelant, a Jobs For Foxborough spokesman.

One such study Farmelant highlighted was conducted in 2005 by the Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Titled, "Betting on the Future: The Economic Impact of Legalized Gambling," the study analyzed whether legalized gambling in Massachusetts would be beneficial or harmful to a prospective casino community. Regarding home values in a casino community, the study found that casinos produced "a limited positive effect on some house prices.

"Median house prices in casino counties rose about $6,000 more than in non-casino counties," the study stated. "Median house prices in more urban casino counties were about equal to those in similar non-casino counties." The same was discovered in the 1999 National Gambling Impact Study, sponsored by former President Bill Clinton, former House Speaker Dennis Hastert and former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott. "This study, which is considered the most authoritative and exhaustive peer-reviewed study of gambling in the history of the country, noted that counties that added casinos between 1991 and 1994 suggests that counties had relatively poor growth in property values before the introduction of gambling compared to similar counties and that the introduction of gambling increased the rate of growth of property values," Farmelant said.

However, there are a few flaws to Farmelant's argument, said Rich Owens, a member of the No-Fox-Vegas group. Each study cites growth in terms of a county, Owens said, and the Foxborough casino is not a county issue. "Further, Norfolk County is not a sparsely populated rural county," he said. "The 2010 census reveals a population of more than 670,000. That same study (Rappaport) also says no increase in employment, increase in bankruptcies and more crime," Owens continued.

Vivian Nelson, a Realtor with ReMax, has spent the past 33 years selling real estate in and around Foxborough. Lauded as one of the top-producing agents in ReMax New England, Nelson said the addition of a casino to Foxborough is "a complete unknown," regarding its affect on home values.

"Foxborough prices are where they are because of its location and proximity to Boston," Nelson said. "That mentality of closeness to Boston is what affects real estate prices. I'm not sure if the addition of a casino would affect them one way or another."

In the past 12 years, Foxborough has grown in infrastructure with the addition of Patriot Place, the new Gillette Stadium, a YMCA and a skating rink. Despite that growth, Nelson said, home prices were hardly affected, if at all.

"Through the years, we've maintained where we've always been," she said. "With all the amenities, (our home prices) haven't gone higher than the towns north of us: Walpole, Sharon, Norwood. And I would have thought we would have surpassed them by now." 

On the reverse, Nelson said, Foxborough has always maintained higher home values than neighboring towns to the south: Attleboro, Mansfield and Wrentham. "Zoning laws are zoning laws," she said, "and Foxborough "has almost always enforced acre zoning."

The potential increase in traffic due to a casino has Owens - and several other anti-casino voices - concerned. With added traffic comes added noise pollution, and "it's generally an accepted fact that traffic and noise pollution are detrimental to real estate prices," Owens said. "If you live on North, Mechanic, South or Chestnut Streets, or another main road, it is reasonable to assume your property value will decrease with the increased traffic," he continued.

Nelson, like Foxborough resident Roslyn Liftman, believes that not enough information either for- or against - a casino, has been presented. "When you buy a home within close proximity to a highway, you have to expect that businesses are going to expand," said Liftman, 77. "I think we need to listen to Mr. Kraft and Mr. Wynn and digest their proposal," Liftman said. "Otherwise, how are we to make an educated decision without the facts?"

Amy February 01, 2012 at 11:12 PM
Oh, here we go. Now we have all the pro-casino people, coincidentally enough, the ones who are the most active on the pro-casino Facebook page ganging up against the anti-casino folk. I guess Traci was right, some people are just not demonstrating "an appropriate way to behave" Please Deborah, if you are active on any of the other sights, which I know you are, you wouldn't need to ask me that question. I'm a liar, LOL. Billionaires against the locals, I'm thinking you are WRONG. I know it's hard to believe you've been hoodwinked. But, who cares, as long as you are all on the same side, it really does not matter, does it? You can't "rattle" a PR person paid to promote special interests, it's their job to stay level headed, and easy to do so when they are not emotionally invested in an issue. If locals are reading these posts, which I am sure they are, all they need to do is follow the thread, and do the same fact checking that others have done, and they'll come up with the same conclusions. Why don't you and "Jacob" get together for coffee, prove me wrong.
Deborah A Stewart February 01, 2012 at 11:32 PM
Amy, you neglected to answer the question "If you have proof that Jacob is not who he says he is then bring it on". Where is your proof?
Traci Longa February 02, 2012 at 12:41 AM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troll_(Internet) "In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory,[2] extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response[3] or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion." "Trolls aspire to violence, to the level of trouble they can cause in an environment. They want it to kick off. They want to promote antipathetic emotions of disgust and outrage, which morbidly gives them a sense of pleasure."
Amy February 02, 2012 at 11:54 AM
Deborah, where is your proof that he is a resident of Foxboro, and not a paid PR person? I already explained everything in detail. Readers, read all of the previous posts, the answers are right there. Also, please take a look at the pro casino Facebook page where Traci and Deborah are the most active. Traci (the moderator) has one particular "troll" that she allows to post multiple times per day. This "troll" has been kicked off the No Fox Vegas Facebook Page, yet continues to be a member of the pro-casino page (Traci even has friendly dialogue with this person). If I can get the public to know the truth, then call me whatever you like. BTW, you guys are just feeding into this, hilarious. Such hypocrates.
Jeff February 02, 2012 at 04:13 PM
@Jacob, so just chipping in on the social media stuff, when your time allows, equals 70+ posts that are pro-casino? I live in the town, have kids at the schools, and own a home which I hope never to have to leave, as I love it and have had nothing but good experiences during the 2+ years of living in the town. But even myself, in strong opposition of a casino in Foxboro (not morally, more logistically) have only had the time to post 3-4 times on the subject. You must have a very relaxed work schedule, or maybe you are just independently wealthy and have all of this "free time" to chip in?
Amy February 13, 2012 at 07:39 PM
Greetings from the land of the trolls. Here's an interesting tibit, enjoy!: http://www.sunchronicle.com/articles/2012/02/11/news/10969860.txt
Traci Longa February 13, 2012 at 09:09 PM
Amy, out of complete curiosity... do Trolls get paid or is it primarily a hobby?
Amy February 13, 2012 at 10:15 PM
The only one getting paid (or will get paid, in spades) is a Wynn lackey. Readers, read this article. Transparency, hallelujah!
Deborah A Stewart February 13, 2012 at 10:29 PM
UMMMMMM, Amy I don't see you putting yourself out here by using your last name. You throw out all kinds of rude and vicious remarks and profess to know the truth about everyone and everything. Traci has used her own name, has stood up publicly for what she believes in and has been transparent about her mom working in the past in Vegas. She has been transparent can the same be said about you? I think not.
Amy February 14, 2012 at 01:07 AM
Deborah A Stewart, I am guessing you didn't read the article. What a dumb comment. Oh yes, Traci is a true martyr. I am sure many aspire to be more like her. Just bringing to the table the truth about someone who is making themselves very public in a very contentious issue (and loving every minute of it). Readers, we knew the truth all along, didn't we?
Dave February 14, 2012 at 09:12 PM
Traci calling others a troll might be the single funniest/most ironic thing I've ever read!
Dave February 14, 2012 at 09:15 PM
Amy Readers, we knew the truth all along, didn't we? Yep......The article only brings to light what was obvious long long ago.
Deborah A Stewart February 14, 2012 at 09:24 PM
Dave, I'm sorry but if you go back a few posts it was actually Amy who used the word "troll". I think Traci was just explaining the cyber meaning of the word.
Amy February 14, 2012 at 10:25 PM
Oh heavens, Deborah A Stewart, you are wrong once again. On Feb 1st, Traci looked up a Wikipedia definition of what an internet "troll" was and backhandedly accused me of being one. So, I decided to embrace her description of me with mucho gusto!
Janet Sroczynski February 16, 2012 at 03:03 PM
From the Nevada Secretary of States's Office; "Bridge Holdings LLC" c/o 300 S. Fourth Street, Suite 1700, Las Vegas, NV 89101 and attorney John E. Dawson, Esq. Entity #: E0479482011-0. Manager: Theresa A. Longa. Status: Active. Source: 1) http://NVSOS.gov/sosentitysearch/corpdetails.aspx. Filing Date: 08/26/2011. List of Officers Due: 08/31/2012. Interesting Sun Chronicle.com article(s).
Amy February 16, 2012 at 10:44 PM
Thank you Janet, very informative. Interesting how the "secret meetings" began in August as well. http://www.nvannualreport.com/entities-DLLC-BRIDGE-HOLDINGS-LLC.aspx
Janet Sroczynski February 17, 2012 at 02:52 PM
You are welcome Amy. When a quick search is performed under attorney James E. Dawson's name, up pops the following: 1) http://www.lionelsawyer.com - lawfirm handling: 1) Litigation 2) Gaming & Regulatory Law -gee, what a surprise....ummhh... 3) Business Law. Law Firm name of: Lionel, Sawyer & Collins of Las Vegas, Reno and Carson City, Nevada. His particular area of focus is listed as: Trusts/Estate/Asset Protection. telephone 1.702.383.8812 and direct email is listed as: jdawson@lionelsawyer.com. His biography, law school, etc. is listed if interested. Draw your own conclusions Foxboro. The information is helpful to retain.
Janet Sroczynski February 17, 2012 at 04:02 PM
Let's not forget the Boston Herald article posted today; Friday, February 17, 2012 regarding the party thrown last night by law firm of Holland & Knight and Steven Wright, a board member of Commonwealth Compact. See BostonHerald.com for details and comment(s) section. Article entitled: "Deval Patrick Pick Defends Party Thrown by Firm with Casino Ties." Gambling czar: Not Gaming the System by Joe Battenfeld and Erin Smith. 1/2 Million Contract deal.
Amy February 17, 2012 at 05:59 PM
So this confirms that the lawyer handling Traci Bridge Longa's (moderator and creator of Facebooks pro casino site and subject of two news articles) new real estate investment company located in Las Vegas works for a huge law firm that specifically handles Gaming & Regulatory Law. Oh, and one of their specialties is lobbying. Say it ain't so!
Janet Sroczynski February 17, 2012 at 06:42 PM
I think Amy, that clarification should come from the town of Foxboro's attorneys. Provided they have the time and interest level. Homeowners to consider, taxpayers and resident's housing values to protect. And let them, the town of Foxboro's lawyers, place a telephone call to the Nevada law firm mentioned above. The way I read the paperwork filed, it appears as though this pro-casino woman from Foxboro whose dog enjoys typing with her, then in turn started her own REIT-real estate investment trust (protecting her own real estate self interest(s)...aka..potential interests anyhow..hence the trusts/estate/asset protection attorney: John E. Dawson-see the dates she filed; pre-cursor to all of this)...and she could then scoop-up real estate on the cheap, in a declining real estate market/casino related. Now, whether it is in Nevada or now Foxboro, time will tell. When enough people in Foxboro do the reading and research, and connect-the-dots as outlined above....the paper trail speaks for itself, and is actually quite easy to read. Middleboro, Massachusetts experienced something quite similar too. First, the lawyer representing the pro-casino group arrived (very quietly), ahead of the pack. He tried to blend in, people found out. Read the articles or inquire at CasinoFacts.org. The information is listed there or in the archived articles. This is the seedy aspect of the casino culture, that has many of us concerned. And rightfully so.
Deborah A Stewart February 17, 2012 at 07:30 PM
Talk about seedy ladies! Both of you hide from the rest of the cyber world by not using your full or real names. You people are sick and will sink to the lowest levels of sludge to get dirt. Sad human beings....if you can even be considered that. Done with all of you.
Deborah A Stewart February 17, 2012 at 07:32 PM
Oh one more thing. Sounds like an amazing law firm. I am sure they have a great group of lawyers who specialize in suits and litigation. So keep it coming.....we are all keeping count.
Amy February 17, 2012 at 10:16 PM
That makes alot of sense Janet. I actually didn't even think about buying homes in Foxboro that would tank in value. Tearing the ones closest to the proposed site down and building apartment buildings, or whatever suits their fancy, interesting. Deborah A. Stewart, are you implying that the Wynn lawyers are going to sue anybody who exposes the lackeys? Really? Are you serious? Yea, that would make Wynn/Kraft look really good in the public eye. I can just see the headlines now. I should warn everybody on the anti-casino sites that they might be in for a legal battle. Hilarious. I guess letting the public know the truth only means something if your full name is on public record. Yea, that makes alot of sense. Deborah A. Stewart, if that is all you have, than you can't be taken seriously. Please, follow through with being "done with all of you
Janet Sroczynski February 19, 2012 at 12:30 PM
Helpful to have read through the Foxboro Patch's article on the town attorney: Paul DeRensis "is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School." Read the article and/or the Selectman's Meeting Minutes from December 27, 2011. 1) http://www.foxborough.gov/pages/FoxboroughMa_Bosmin/Dec.%2027. And 2) http://foxborough.patch.com/articles/foxborough-town-counsel-named-one-of-2011-s-new-england-super-lawyers. A small hand-held Barron's dictionary also helpful to have..."Forensic Accounting" -read further at Dictionary of Accounting Terms -paperback by Joel G. Siegel Ph.D./CPA and for sale at BarnesandNoble.com-$10.08. http://www.harvard.edu
Bob Simone March 05, 2012 at 02:15 PM
I'm against the casino for several reasons. 1. A casino is controversial. 2. Anything controversial will cause some home buyers to exclude Foxboro and other surrounding towns from their choice of towns to live simply because they don't want to live in a town that has a casino. This potential reduction in the number of buyers looking to buy and move to Foxboro, will negatively affect the price and resale of homes here. The same is not true for buyers in support of a casino. They won't be willing to pay a premium or more money to live in Foxboro to be near the casino. 3. There will most likely be an increase in crime, drunk driving and other problems that statistically come from casinos, and that don't necessarily come from other types of commercial developments such as a malls, restaurants, etc. Casinos have their own unique culture and problems that are side effects of gambling on large scale.
Bob Simone March 05, 2012 at 02:16 PM
4. The majority of jobs created by a casino are not high paying jobs. In contrast jobs created through businesses like skilled manufacturing, high tech, research, medical, education and finance, which are industries that MA is traditionally known to attract, would be more beneficial to Foxboro and area communities. Gambling is just not a high paying industry, so we're not improving the opportunities for area residents to improve their incomes and career paths learning skills that are transferable to other industries and opportunities typically found in the state. Whether the casino is built in Foxboro or Boston, those same casino jobs that the special interest casino lobby is promoting will still be available for applicants that are interested in applying for them. Many people commute to work, so a drive to Boston to work at a casino shouldn't be any more inconvenient than driving to Boston for other employment.
Bob Simone March 05, 2012 at 02:16 PM
5. A casino in Foxboro will change the demographics and feel of the town. In fact, the casino developer is setting aside specific funds to deal with increased need for police and other services to specifically service the increased need in law enforcement that the casino will bring to area communities. Foxboro is a conservative community, and many families moved to and live in Foxboro because of the community feel. A casino will influence the nature of a community cherished by its residents. Any significant change in crime, drug abuse, alcohol abuse and alcoholism, domestic violence, or any other demographics WILL change the feel and fabric of Foxboro and surrounding towns.
Bob Simone March 05, 2012 at 02:16 PM
6. Lastly, whether or not the casino is built in Foxboro we know that three casinos will be built in MA, all within a drive convenient to Foxboro residents that want to use it or work there; it doesn't need to be in Foxboro for this to happen. With objection from the majority of town government officials and residents in significant numbers, Wynn and Kraft have resorted to employment of people from outside of the town to lobby and try to sell the proposal to residents through door to door solicitation and mass media campaigns. They also are funding promotions trying to make the casino just about jobs. This argument falls short because Foxboro has relatively high employment. In fact MA has relatively high employment when compared to other state and national employment figures. All the same jobs built with a casino will be available to qualified candidates no matter where the casino is built. The "Jobs for Foxboro" argument just doesn't hold water when you break down the practical realities surrounding these low paying job opportunities and a resident's ability to apply for them no matter where the casino is built. .... Just my two cents as a Foxboro resident and real estate broker/owner for last 23 years....
Jobs for Foxboro March 05, 2012 at 04:37 PM
Bob, thank you for the insights and comments. Please be sure to read today's Boston.com blog entry by Scott van Voorhis. http://www.boston.com/realestate/news/blogs/renow/2012/03/a_big_gamble_fo.html He cites one casino executive "who, in a long career, helped launched casino gambling in New Jersey, amongst other things. [The executive] contends the influx of casino managers, with higher than average incomes, will help boost real estate activity, not just in Foxborough, but within a 15 to 20 minute drive." Here's the executive's direct quote: "Concerns about a casino impacting area schools and real estate values are incorrect."
Chris A March 05, 2012 at 05:10 PM
I just got back from Vegas a few weeks ago. After seeing the Wynn and Encore hotels I firmly believe his resort wouldn't effect property values in a negative way because it's first class all the way. They build beautiful landscapes all over with golf courses and man-made waterfalls (it was on the DVD too). They go to great lengths to make sure every detail is immaculate. Don't believe Wynn is interested in his guests seeing someone's backyard/house at his luxury resort. I highly recommend checking his Wynn & Encore hotels out...or at least online. Not the typical 'casino' in my opinion.

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