The withdrawal of the Vornado Realty Trust from the race for the last midtown New York casino license seems to have raised the spirit of the remaining four major potential bidders. One of them, New York Mets owner Steve Cohen, is now making a crucial step forward to take a lead over the competitors. As reported, the hedge fund billionaire is partnering with Hard Rock International to propose a development of an $8 billion casino and entertainment complex in Queens next to the Citi Field baseball stadium.
Partners to Metropolitan Park Proposal:
Fortune reports that the details of his proposal and the confirmation of the partners were released on November 7, 2023. If awarded the license, Steve Cohen and his partners, Hard Rock International and SHoP Architects will build the gaming complex in Queens to feature around 20 acres of new public park space that is the reason why the proposed development is now being called Metropolitan Park.
According to the source, the resort will also include new athletic fields, as well as some renovated public areas and stations around the site to ensure undisturbed traffic and the overall improvement of the area. Cohen said that the new casino and entertainment facility will offer a wide range of amenities, such as the Queens Food Hall, as well as around 15,000 of permanent and construction jobs, as reported by Fortune.
Obstacles to Proposal:
The same source also reports that Cohen has been exceptionally active to secure the support from the neighborhoods surrounding Citi Field. His intention to have the complex built next to the Mets stadium has been repeatedly opposed by the local community and officials. The proposed casino site is now a state-owned parking which status modification would require an amendment to the current legislation. The proposed park development has also been criticized, but the land issues have been brought to the lawmakers and Cohen hopes for the respective bill to annex the land to the casino property. As Fortune reports, further issues may arise even if Cohen is awarded the license for the development. He will reportedly have to secure approvals from a local official board to be considered for a license by the state gaming board.
Taking A Lead:
A Queens casino could reportedly generate $1.9 billion in annual revenues for Cohen who currently stands at $13.9 billion net. As Vornando recently stepped out of the game, four major bidders are considered the favorites in the race. But the finish line is yet to be determined by the state as it reportedly revealed no details about the due dates for the casino bid submissions or the date of the approval. Cohen seems to be facing hurdles but also taking a lead in the race.