Baskervill, HKS to lead Norfolk casino design, architecture
Norfolk voters will decide casino's fate in Nov. 3 local referendum
The Pamunkey Indian Tribe announced Thursday that Dallas, Texas-based HKS and Richmond-based Baskervill will serve as the architecture team for the tribe’s planned $500 million Norfolk Resort & Casino if city voters approve a Nov. 3 local referendum approving the casino development.
Backed by Tennessee billionaire investor Jon Yarbrough, the casino and resort will include a 300-room hotel with restaurants, a spa and an entertainment venue that will seat 2,500. The project is expected to create 2,500 full-time jobs. The tribe predicts the project will have a total economic impact of $850 million for the state, including $754 million for the city, as well as $26 million to $31 million annually in gaming and sales-related taxes.
“The design team that we have assembled will create an amazing resort,” Pamunkey Chief Robert Gray said in a statement. “These two companies bring the creativity, industry expertise, experience and drive to ensure that this facility will exceed the highest expectations set by the tribe and the city of Norfolk for this project.”
The Pamunkey Indian Tribe issued conceptual renderings for the Norfolk casino more than a year ago, but those will change with the new architectural team in place, says Jay Smith, spokesman for the Pamunkey Indian Tribe.
HKS is a global firm with 1,350 employees and 23 locations. Some of their notable projects include AT&T Stadium (home to the Dallas Cowboys) and SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles (home to the NFL Rams and Chargers), in addition to other resorts and casinos. HKS was the lead architect on the MGM National Harbor Casino, located just outside Washington, D.C., in Maryland.
“It is an honor to be part of a project that will transform and create a positive impact for the Norfolk community,” Luis Zapiain, HKS principal and director of hospitality, said in a statement. “Along with bringing our design expertise and creativity, we are equally committed to working alongside our local partners and sharing the common goal of creating a destination like no other.”
Founded in 1897, Baskervill designed Norfolk’s Glass Light Hotel & Gallery and handled the interior design of the Hilton Norfolk The Main.
“We are thrilled to be working with the Pamunkey Indian Tribe alongside our partners at HKS on this incredibly exciting project for Norfolk and Virginia. As a longstanding Virginia-based firm, we know how important an investment like this can be for our communities. We’re proud to be a part of this,” Baskervill President Bob Clark said in a statement.
Under legislation passed in 2020, the state will allow casinos to be developed in five economically challenged Virginia cities, including Norfolk, but citizens have to approved the casinos in local referendums. The Pamunkey Tribe was designated as the preferred casino operator by Norfolk City Council and the project has also received preliminary certification from the state Lottery Board.