Related Cos. Eyes 1,500-Room Casino-Resort on Manhattan’s West Side

Real estate developer Related Cos., which is partnering with Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ:WYNN) on a Manhattan casino-resort plan, earlier this week revealed more details of the project.

Related Cos.
Related Cos. CEO Jeff Blau. In a recent interview, he revealed more details about a Manhattan casino project. (Image: Related Cos.)

In an interview with Bloomberg Television, Related CEO Jeff Blau said the venue on Manhattan’s far west side will feature 1,500 guest rooms, 20 dining options, a nightclub, theater, and of course, a casino. The integrated resort project is, among other things, being billed as a potential debut for the second phase of Related’s famed Hudson Yard project. That phase is slated to be located between 11th Avenue and the Hudson River.

That is assuming Related and Wynn are selected as the winners of a third downstate casino license. It’s widely expected the first two permits will be awarded to MGM’s Empire City Casino in Yonkers and Resorts World in Queens.

Related forecast that request for proposals for the New York City casino project will arrive in early 2023, with a winner being revealed late next year.

For Related Cos., Location, Location, Location

In the real estate business, it’s often said that’s all about “location, location, location,” and that could be what sets the Related/Wynn effort apart.

We think it’s the opportune place to put something like this, and I think it will generate the highest economic development returns for the state,” Blau told Bloomberg.

He added the casino-resort project could spur $10 billion in new development in New York City, and create jobs at a time when the largest US city is still ailing from the effects coronavirus pandemic economic doldrums. Related also believes a casino-hotel could lure more business to the recently revamped Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.

To date, it doesn’t appear as though the Related/Wynn is drawing the opposition that another Manhattan casino effort is. SL Green Realty and Caesars Entertainment want to bring a casino to 1515 Broadway in Times Square. While that project is supported by some famous investors, it’s also drawing opposition from the Broadway League and the Shubert Organization.

New York Casino Competition Fierce

Since it became clear that New York lawmakers would award a third downstate casino license, Empire State political experts and gaming and real estate industry observers expressed doubt that a Manhattan would be the home to a new gaming venue. Same goes for nearby Westchester County.

That’s prompting other contenders in the New York casino competition to evaluate other locations. There’s been speculation about Brooklyn. But there’s also chatter residents of that borough would oppose a gaming property.

The Bronx and Staten Island aren’t high up on operators’ lists of preferred destinations. But there is some momentum to bring a casino-hotel to an area near Citi Field — home of Major League Baseball’s Mets — in Queens.

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