Larry Silverstein, the 92-year-old developer best known for his contributions to the post-9/11 redevelopment of Lower Manhattan and the World Trade Center, is making headlines again with his bid for a casino project in New York City.
It was an 11th-hour bid for one of three available downstate NY casino licenses. The licenses are expected to be awarded later this year or early 2024.
Avenir is latest New York casino pitch
Silverstein Properties, in collaboration with Greenwood Gaming & Entertainment (Parx Casino), has proposed a gambling and resort complex called Avenir.
The project, situated on a 2.1-acre site on Manhattan’s West Side at 41st Street and 11th Avenue, would feature two 46-story towers connected by a sky bridge, housing 1,000 luxury hotel rooms and a casino occupying eight floors, totaling 600,000 square feet of gaming space.
According to multiple media reports, the Silverstein project is touting that it would not displace residents or require additional public funding for infrastructure investments. The press release says the complex would create 5,500 permanent jobs and 4,000 other jobs during construction.
Silverstein’s company, known for its involvement in the rebuilding of Hell’s Kitchen, already has 549 affordable-housing units in the area. The Avenir project would add another 100.
Gambling heavyweights all fighting for NY casino license
The competition to operate a downstate casino is fierce.
Las Vegas Sands, Caesars Entertainment, Mohegan, Hard Rock and Bally’s are among some of the big names vying for a license. Stephen Ross, another major real estate magnate, has presented a competing proposal for a casino project with Wynn Resorts in the Hudson Yards neighborhood.
Two existing racinos fit the criteria to receive a downstate license. Empire City, an MGM Resorts International property in Yonkers, and Resorts World NYC, a Genting Group facility at Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens, expect to have the inside track on two of the available licenses.
That would leave one license available.
NY’s patience is waning with slow moving process
The New York State Gaming Commission could announce the winners later this year following recommendations from the three-member Gaming Facility Location Board.
The winning applicants must pay a $500 million license fee and be able to demonstrate at least $500 million in capital development.
Other Manhattan proposals include SL Green and Caesars in Times Square, Vornado Realty Trust at Herald Square and the Soloviev Group and Mohegan in Midtown East.
Thor Equities has submitted a bid for a casino project on Coney Island. NY Mets owner and billionaire Steve Cohen has a proposal near Citi Field with Hard Rock. Las Vegas Sands has a $5 billion casino entertainment complex designed for Long Island. Bally’s is eyeing land in The Bronx.