MGM Resorts International is moving into its corporate offices in Springfield, Mass., another sign that the gambling giant's $960 million casino and entertainment complex is heading swiftly to its scheduled opening date in September.
The corporate offices are in the 11-story building at 95 State St., known as the MassMutual building and will be the offices for executives and administrative workers. The first 50 employees have moved in, with a total of 300 employees eventually expected.
Overall, the casino and entertainment complex is expected to employ 3,000 and cover three, downtown city blocks.
Michael Mathis, president and chief operating officer of MGM Springfield, said the renovation of the 1929 building on State Street included new mechanicals, electrical, plumbing and other fixtures. But the work included preserving the Classical Revival-style facade and keeping a variety of features in the original lobby.
"This building is just one example of the many that will be unveiled this year," Mathis said.
Late last year, MGM began ramping up its hiring, opening a career center for job seekers. Training will soon begin for those who will working on the gambling floor.
MGM said 35 percent of its workforce in Springfield will be from the city and 90 percent from a combination of the city and the surrounding region.
The complex will have about 2 million square feet of space. The casino will have 125,000 square feet of gaming space and a 250-room boutique hotel.
The development also will include a six-screen theater, a bowling venue and a skating rink in the winter and an outdoor marketplace in the warmer months.
MGM Springfield is expected to place more competitive pressure on Connecticut's two tribal gaming venues: Foxwoods Resort Casino and Mohegan Sun. The legislature last year backed a joint venture of the two Connecticut casinos to establish a "satellite" casino in East Windsor to help prevent gambling revenue and industry jobs in Connecticut from migrating to Springfield. Construction in East Windsor has yet to get underway.