Demolition began this week to make way for the Caesars Virginia casino at the former Dan River Inc. Schoolfield site.
It will take several months to completely demolish structures at the site.
“Full demolition will take seven to nine months based on knowledge of current conditions,” said Mark Schlang, senior director of design and construction with Caesars Entertainment.
As for the former finishing building, officials are still determining how to approach taking it down, Schlang said.
“The finishing building will be later in the schedule,” he said. “The contractor and engineers are still evaluating the best methods for removal.”
D.H. Griffin Companies in Greensboro, N.C., is performing demolition and abatement and hazardous material removal, Schlang said.
Regarding construction, Caesars reps say it has already started.
“Construction efforts have already begun on-site, ahead of the schedule outlined in the development agreement,” Schlang said. “We anticipate site preparation to continue through the rest of 2021 before moving into foundation work next year.
Architectural renderings for the project were revealed last week.
Plans include a $500 million destination resort casino, which is $100 million more than initially anticipated in the development agreement.
There will also be 500 hotel rooms inspired by local scenery, which is 200 more rooms than initially anticipated in the agreement, according to Caesars. There will also be a spa, pool area and fitness center.
The casino will feature more than 1,400 slot machines and table games, Caesars Sportsbook and WSOP Poker Room, a live poker room named for and carrying the spirit of the legendary World Series of Poker with 25 tables, Caesars Entertainment has said.
Meeting and convention space will total 40,000 square feet with an entertainment venue to accommodate up to 2,500 guests. There will also be restaurants and bars, the press release states. Nine hundred construction jobs will be filled as well as 1,300 operational jobs.
The Schoolfield site’s footprint is 85 acres. The Dan River Inc. property contains about 700,000 square feet of structure, including the 617,000-square-foot former finishing plant that can be seen from West Main Street.
Three iconic smokestacks — known as the Three Sisters — at the site will remain standing and become part of the casino project.