Casino work delayed by financing deal

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Work on the North Shore casino won't resume until at least Tuesday while Chicago billionaire Neil Bluhm and lenders sign the final paperwork to complete financing the $780 million project.

Dan Fee, a spokesman for Mr. Bluhm's investment group, said "logistics" prevented the signing of the financing plan yesterday, as expected. The state Gaming Control Board agreed Thursday to transfer the slots license to the Bluhm group after Detroit developer Don Barden wasn't able to complete the financing.

"They can't start work until the money moves," Mr. Fee said. "The deal is solid. It's happening. It's just going to take a day and a half instead of one day, and unfortunately, there's Saturday and Sunday in between so it won't be finished until midday Monday. It's just logistics."

Work stopped on the project July 1, when contractors refused to continue working without pay. They are owed $50 million for work dating back to April and will be paid as soon as the paperwork is completed.

Mr. Bluhm expects the facility to open in August 2009.



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