A real estate developer in Springfield has floated grand plans for downtown Springfield. The crux of Chris Stone's plan is a 1,200-employee casino in the capital city to generate tax revenue and draw tourists to the places Abraham Lincoln lived and worked.
Stone runs EMS Midwest. It's a business consulting and properties company. Stone wants a casino to be part of the Legislature's discussions about expanded gambling before its scheduled adjournment May 31. The Senate has adopted a contentious plan to add six casinos statewide.
Stone envisions developing a vacant block north of the Executive Mansion with a downtown college campus, and open space for ice skating, concerts, and a dog park. There would be retail space, a movie theater and 30 apartments.