Document Type

Research Report

Publication Date



The report first briefly explains the real estate development business from the developer’s perspective. It then identifies the components of a typical development agreement. Following this, it describes how agreements change and grow over time and offers an outline of the negotiation process. The appendices provide an overview of five development agreements and highlights interesting provisions that may be food for thought during negotiations on future development agreements. Two of these agreements are for gaming-related projects and three do not include gaming as a potential land use. Copies of the actual agreements can be accessed via links found within the appendices.

This document is merely a primer, it cannot take the place of the advice of qualified legal counsel and technical experts and is not intended to do so. Municipal officials considering entering a development agreement for a particular project are strongly encouraged to surround themselves with a team of qualified professionals that can guide them through the process and make sure any agreement entered into is in the best interest of the community at large.


This report has been funded by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission for the purpose of providing general information regarding development agreements to municipalities that may be considering a proposal from the developer of a gaming establishment. The information provided in this report was developed by the staff at Edward J. Collins, Jr. Center for Public Management at the University of Massachusetts Boston. The opinions or views expressed herein are the opinions or views of the authors of the report and the Massachusetts Gaming Commission is not responsible for the content of this report.



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