Because in his time as Mets owner, he has proven himself to be such an incredible capital allocator, Steve Cohen has now revealed an $8 billion plan to build a massive complex in Queens, near Citi Field.
The plan is part of Cohen’s bid to try and win a state casino license and the complex would covert nearby parking lots to a “Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, a live music venue, a food hall and 20 acres of park space,” CBS News New York reported.
Empire City Casino in Yonkers and the Racino at Aqueduct are expected to get two of the state’s three casino licenses and there is “intense competition” for the third license, CBS reported.
Tom Grech, president and CEO of the Queens Chamber of Commerce, commented: “It’s going to be an $8 billion investment in Queens, 15,000 construction jobs — both temporary and permanent — and a way to transform an entire area to continue to cement Queens as kind of our sports and entertainment mecca for the entire city.”
The details of Cohen’s proposal were released publicly for the first time on Tuesday, Bloomberg added in a writeup. Bloomberg detailed the plans:
If Cohen is granted the license, he plans to partner with Hard Rock and SHoP Architects to build the gaming complex, which is being called Metropolitan Park. It would feature 20 acres of newly built public park space designed by landscape architect firm Field Operations, which helped develop the High Line in Manhattan and Freshkills Park in Staten Island.
It would also include new athletic fields, a renovated mass-transit station and a “Queens food hall,” a Cohen spokesperson said in a statement. The new gaming complex would create 15,000 permanent and construction jobs, Cohen said.
Cohen has hired more than 6 lobbying firms and spent millions to get feedback and support from the surrounding neighborhoods. Cohen also faces additional obstacles, with Bloomberg noting that “The proposed casino site sits on what is technically state-owned parkland, and the legislature would need to pass a bill allowing annexation of the land.”
It is estimated that a casino in Queens could generate $1.9 billion annually in revenue. The state has still not set a deadline for when prospective bids are due or when it will decide on the third license, the report concludes.
We’re sure it won’t be long until AOC voices her displeasure for the idea, just as she did with the proposed construction of new Amazon facilities that would have brought thousands of jobs to Long Island City years ago.