The Fall River Redevelopment Authority on Wednesday night approved the sale of 300 acres of land to the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe for its planned casino development.
The property sold for $21 million.
The site was the proposed location of a bio-technology research facility to be operated by the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, but city officials say they will look for another spot for that venture.
Redevelopment Authority Chair Bill Kenney says the 4-1 vote gives the mayor an opportunity to prove that both projects can move forward.
"Now the ball's in their court It's theirs to lose," Kenney said. "They have to move forward and work with the tribe and work with UMass to make these things come true."
Kenney labeled the pursuit of the two projects as a political decision made by Mayor William Flanagan.
"Will Flanagan was elected mayor of Fall River, he's evaluated the risk and his judgment and leadership is that the risk is worth taking," Kenney said. "And for that reason, we've given him the opportunity to prove it out."
The project still has to clear several hurdles — most importantly, the state must pass pending legislation to legalize casinos. There are also restrictions on the property that currently prohibit a casino from being built there.
This program aired on May 27, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.