New York Mets Owner Steve Cohen Partners with Hard Rock International for $8 Billion Casino Development Proposal in Queens
The withdrawal of Vornado Realty Trust from the race for the last midtown New York casino license has invigorated the remaining four major potential bidders. Among them, New York Mets owner Steve Cohen is taking a crucial step forward to lead the competition. Cohen is partnering with Hard Rock International to propose an $8 billion casino and entertainment complex in Queens, adjacent to the Citi Field baseball stadium.
Fortune reports that the details of the proposal and the confirmation of the partners, including Hard Rock International and SHoP Architects, were released on November 7, 2023. If awarded the license, the consortium will build the gaming complex in Queens, featuring around 20 acres of new public park space, which is why the proposed development is being called Metropolitan Park.
The resort will also include new athletic fields, as well as renovated public areas and stations around the site to ensure unobstructed traffic and improve the area. Cohen stated that the new casino and entertainment facility will offer a wide range of amenities, such as the Queens Food Hall, and is expected to create around 15,000 permanent and construction jobs, according to Fortune.
However, Cohen faces obstacles in getting the proposal approved. He has been actively seeking support from the neighborhoods surrounding Citi Field, as his intention to build the complex next to the Mets stadium has been opposed by the local community and officials. The proposed casino site is currently state-owned parking, and any status modification would require an amendment to current legislation.
Despite these challenges, a Queens casino could generate $1.9 billion in annual revenues for Cohen, who currently has a net worth of $13.9 billion. With Vornado’s withdrawal, there are four major bidders remaining in the race, but the state has not revealed any details about the due dates for the casino bid submissions or the date of the approval. Despite these uncertainties, Cohen appears to be taking a lead in the competition.