It appears landlords in the New York City area are not only embracing the idea of a downstate casino, but they actually have one in mind.
As reported by the Commercial Observer, several prominent property managers and developers have backed a proposal for Caesars Palace Times Square. The Midtown collaboration between SL Green Realty and Caesars Entertainment, the supporting group says, will not overshadow what has already made Times Square a must-visit spot.
“Unlike other casinos,” Michael Phillips of Jamestown told the Commercial Observer, “this is a casino that I would say is amenity light and is relying on the amenity base in the surrounding neighborhood to be the attraction and the co-tenancy, which is a great way to think about an urban casino.”
Powerful people get behind Caesars NY casino
The Coalition for a Better Times Square has long supported a Caesars NY casino in the heart of the Big Apple, forming the group in December 2022 and immediately backing the project that also includes Jay-Z’s Roc Nation.
“Times Square exemplifies the culture, energy and optimism of New York City and is justifiably referred to as the crossroads of the world. It is the destination for the domestic tourist as well as the international traveler and a playground for New Yorkers from all five boroughs,” Aby Rosen, co-founder of real estate investment, development and management firm RFR Holding, said in a statement.
“No location in the city is more suitable for the beginning of our gaming industry than Times Square, being the No. 1 tourist destination and hub for entertainment, hospitality, retail and transportation.”
Along with RFR as well as various other commercial owners, the Coalition for a Better Times Square now also features support from:
- Levin Management
- Rosemark Management
- Soho Properties
- Moinian Group
- Wharton Properties
- Ian Schrager Company
- Stillman Development
Caesars still has opponents to overcome
As Phillips told the Commercial Observer, one of the bigger points in favor of Caesars Palace Times Square remains the company’s apparent willingness to let Times Square stand center stage.
“Most of the people who talk about Las Vegas, talk about concerts, theater and food,” Phillips told the newspaper. They don’t talk about gambling … The gaming culture has created an entertainment engagement that has now to some extent eclipsed the gaming.”
That said, like other bidders for one of three downstate casino licenses (which would open the door for NY online casino licensing), Caesars and SL Green still face their fair share of opposition.
For example, the Shubert Organization, Broadway’s largest theater owner, announced last year its opposition against a New York casino – any NY casino – moving into the theater district.
Shubert joined the Broadway League, a 700-member-plus group considered among the most influential in the theater industry, as those who have spoken out against a casino in the area. The Broadway League called it “detrimental” to the city.
Julio Peterson, real estate VP for Shubert, spoke on a podcast about the need need to “protect” Times Square “and not get lost in sort of the immediate gratification … and not think of long-term solutions and sustainability for Broadway.”