The Pamunkey Indian tribe and its casino development team have re-filed their plans for the proposed HeadWaters Resort and Casino project, with modifications to the initial plans and a smaller footprint. The new plans do not include the marina and envision the casino opening before the rest of the property. However, the City Council still needs to consider and approve the final plans before the city of Norfolk can sell the land needed for the casino-resort project.
In addition, initial architectural review board hearing is scheduled for January 8, and the complete project details, including the full cost and construction timeline, have not been disclosed. The casino is aiming to start gaming operations in 2025. The project, which would include a spa, fitness area, 65,000- square-foot casino floor, and a 300-room hotel, is set to bring an investment of half a billion dollars, according to HeadWaters spokesman Jay Smith.
The casino is planning to install 50 tables games and 1,800 to 2,000 slot machines, but the full capacity may not be available on opening day. The revised plan eliminates the two-phase construction approach that was previously scrapped due to objections by city leadership.
The plans also no longer require direct waterfront work, and the final project will be located on waterfront land between Amtrak station and Harbor Park. The developers will need to adhere to the original development agreement set in 2020 and obtain approval from the City Council for the project to proceed.
The plans are set to be reviewed by multiple authorities, including the Architectural Review Board, Planning Commission, and City Council, with restricted opportunities for any further modifications or alterations. The construction timeline is critical, as the developers aim to start construction in spring 2024 to meet the statutory requirement of opening gaming operations by November 2025.