Steve Cohen, owner of the New York Mets and Point72 Asset Management, announced plans to partner with Hard Rock International and SHoP Architects in a bid for a downstate casino license. The proposed $8 billion Metropolitan Park complex would be built on a 50-acre parcel near Citi Field in Queens, currently used as a parking lot, and would include a gaming house, parkland, hotel, live music venue, and food hall.
Cohen expressed his excitement about the project, stating, “It’s time the world’s greatest city got the sports and entertainment park it deserves.” While specific renderings and details have not yet been released, the proposal aligns with the New York State Gaming Commission’s requirement that casino projects must improve the surrounding community.
The proposal also comes after discussions with community members about the possibility of a casino in Willets Point, Queens. Additionally, changes to a development project known as Freedom Plaza in Midtown East, which includes affordable housing units, have been made by the Soloviev Group in partnership with Mohegan.
The Metropolitan Park project is just one of many competing for the three available downstate casino licenses. Other proposals include a facility in Hudson Yards by Related Companies and Wynn Resorts, a casino in Coney Island, Brooklyn by Thor Equities, Saratoga Casino Holdings, The Chickasaw Nation, and Legends, and a gaming floor in Times Square by SL Green Realty, Jay-Z’s Roc Nation, and Caesars Entertainment.
These developments, along with New York City’s planned soccer stadium, are part of a push to revitalize parts of the city while meeting the need for affordable housing. The soccer stadium project, in partnership with Related Companies, Sterling Equities, and Langan, is expected to bring a total of 2,500 apartments, with 1,100 designated as affordable housing units.
As plans for these projects continue to unfold, it remains to be seen which proposals will ultimately be selected for the highly sought-after casino licenses.