Las Vegas Sands has officially entered the race to build a full-scale integrated casino resort in the New York City area. The global heavyweight has entered into an agreement to purchase the land lease of Long Island’s Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Pending various regulatory and other approvals, the lease would give LVS control of about 77 acres of prime real estate on which to build.
Plans currently include an entertainment and hospitality complex with live performance space, a hotel, a health club, a spa, convention space, and celebrity restaurants in addition to a casino. The casino component would not take up more than 10% of the total built-out space, making it a truly integrated casino resort if LVS wins the license tender and is allowed to build on Long Island.
The Coliseum is currently controlled by RXR Realty which manages 84 commercial real estate properties and investments with an aggregate gross asset value of $22.4 billion. The company has been working for several years to create “The Hub” at the site which would have consisted of “a new suburbia” in the heart of Nassau County. Much of that vision would remain basically the same but with more of a focus on hospitality and entertainment than a place to live, work, and play.
RXR is a Community-First Developer
RXR Realty’s forte is community involvement in any project it undertakes and the company would work with LVS and the local communities to help maximize economic opportunity, help build a stronger community and protect the quality of life for residents.
RXR had already established working groups within the community and Sands will reactivate those partnerships with an eye toward providing thousands of union jobs building and running the resort.
One priority will be to continue to honor the location as a veteran’s memorial.
Sands chairman and chief executive Robert Goldstein said, “Our company’s track record of driving significant economic benefits to the communities in which we operate and the meaningful relationships and partnerships we have created in each of those communities gives us a unique perspective on what it takes to develop transformative tourism destinations that positively impact the local community.”
Former New York Governor David Paterson, Sands senior vice president said: “We are committed to bringing opportunities for small businesses to thrive, career paths in multiple disciplines for our local residents, innovative approaches for minority and women-owned businesses, thousands of union jobs, and an understanding of our obligation to partner and communicate our vision for the future.”
The Race is Officially on for a New York Casino
A request for applications was recently released by the state facilities sighting board and the competition is expected to heat up significantly. Caesars has proposed a casino resort for Times Square, another has been floated for Coney Island, and Hard Rock International may be getting ready to announce plans to compete with one of three properties it has already identified.
The license will cost a minimum of $500 million but the board didn’t put a cap on the fees, which could open a bidding war for at least one of three licenses authorized for downstate New York.
MGM Empire City at Yonkers Raceway and Resort World New York at Aqueduct, are two existing VLT and electronic tables-only gaming centers that are widely believed to have an advantage in securing the other two licenses. Ten true casino licenses were authorized by voters in 2013. The first four went to Upstate New York while the current three were under a 10-year moratorium. In 7 years three more could be released by lawmakers fulfilling the citizens’ referendum.