Real estate mogul Larry Silverstein, who actively participated in the redevelopment of Lower Manhattan and the World Trade Center after the September 11 attacks, decided to join the bidding process for one of the three Vegas-style downstate casino licenses. The real estate magnate has never owned a gambling venue before but believes that such a development will boost New York City’s economy and support the transit system on which it relies.
The businessman plans to establish a casino at 11th Avenue and 41st Streek if he gets a license. In his opinion, this is the perfect location for a gambling venue because it borders several neighborhoods but is not central to any of them. The real estate magnate has joined forces with Watche Manoukian, the owner of Parx Casino in Bensalem – Pennsylvania’s highest grossing venue. A curious fact is that Mr. Silverstone is not a gambling fan. In 2017, he told the real-estate publication Mansion Global that he does not visit casinos or racetracks but enjoys buying properties.
Silverstone’s casino project was designed with the help of Nany Ruddy of the CetraRuddy architecture company. The development would include 46-story towers connected by a sky bridge, one or more hotels, a performance hall, and a casino.
During a meeting held last Wednesday on the 38th floor at 7 World Trade Center, executives at Silverstein Properties introduced their 1.8-million-square-foot development project, which will be called the Avenir (which means “future” in French). State Senator Brad Hoylman-Sigal and Councilman Erik Bottcher, whose districts will potentially host the proposed site, attended the meeting but refrained from commenting on the company’s proposal.
New York City’s Bidding Process Heats Up as About 10 Companies Will Fight for a Casino License
In 2013, New York legislators greenlit three downstate and four upstate casinos. However, to ensure that the upstate gambling venues operate without competition, a 10-year moratorium prohibiting the state to award downstate casino licenses was imposed. Following the moratorium expiration this January, New York City launched a bidding process to award the three casino licenses to interested operators.
Nearly 10 companies are expected to enter the bidding process, with MGM Resorts International and Genting New York being among the companies believed to receive two of the three casino licenses up for grabs because they own the two racinos in the state, including Resorts World New York City at Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens and the Empire City Casino in Yonkers.
Other companies that have already joined the bidding process are SL Green Realty Corporation in partnership with Caesars Entertainment, the Hudson Yards developer Related Companies with Wynn Resorts, the hedge fund manager Steven A. Cohen with Hard Rock, and Las Vegas Sands. Related Companies’ proposal is comparable to Mr. Silverstein’s project as both developments would be located close to the Javits Convention Center. But Marty Burger, the chief executive of Silverstein Properties, explained that the Silverstein site is at the stage where construction work can begin, which is not the case with the Related Companies’ project.