Silverstein Properties, a full-service real-estate development, investment and management company based in New York, has made a bid, together with its gaming partner Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment, owner of Parx Casino in Pennsylvania, to construct Avenir, a gaming, hotel, entertainment and residential complex, on an empty 92,000-square-foot lot on Manhattan’s far west side near the Jacob Javits Convention Center.
However, they aren’t the only ones fighting to win one of the 3 available casino licenses.
Layout of the proposed property:
Since 1984, Silverstein has owned the aforementioned empty lot, located between West 42nd and West 41st streets and 11th and 12th Avenues. Moreover, if the partners succeed in obtaining the license, upon construction, Avenir will include two 46-story towers connected by a sky bridge, 1,000 hotel rooms and a 600,000-square-foot gaming and entertainment facility. As for jobs and other economic benefits, according to Silverstein, they will involve 4,000 union construction jobs and 5,500 permanent union jobs to operate the property.
Additionally, the residential component will be truncated by other aspects of the development. However, according to Silverstein, the development will deliver 100 units of affordable housing, which should earn the developer points with the New York State Gaming Commission in its search for a casino with social benefits.
In this regard, in a statement, Larry Silverstein, president of Silverstein Properties, said: “Our city and state face a confluence of historic challenges right now. These include a housing crisis, public safety challenges, budget shortfalls, and a commercial real estate market in transition. We need to work with state and local leaders to do everything we can to make New York the best place to live, work and visit. We’ve done it before, and I am confident we can do it again.”
Looking at Silverstein’s chances of winning one of the 3 available casino licenses, the company has a lot of competition. They are:
- SL Green Realty, Jay-Z’s Roc Nation and Caesars Entertainment plan to construct a “boutique” casino at West 45th Street and Broadway in Times Square;
- Thor Equities has joined forces with Saratoga Casino Holdings, the Chickasaw Nation and Legends to propose a $3 billion facility on 5 acres in Coney Island, Brooklyn;
- Stefan Soloviev’s Soloviev Group and Mohegan plan to build an entertainment district complete with a giant Ferris wheel just south of the United Nations campus and to include a casino as part of it.
Growth of the US casino industry:
The casino industry is one of the fastest growing industries worldwide, and a huge growth has taken place in the US. A growing number of cities rely on casinos for economic development and job growth. However, although it has been successful in some cities, there are many aspects and stages in the development of a casino project.