Jay-Z joins Times Square team bidding for prized NYC casino

SL Green and Caesars Entertainment have a glam new accomplice of their hoped-for Times Square casino — Brooklyn-born billionaire rapper and leisure impresario Jay-Z and his Roc Nation, Realty Check has discovered.

The three-way partnership, to be introduced at SL Green’s annual investor convention on Monday, marks a dramatic twist within the developer’s and Caesars’ quest to launch a casino at SL Green’s 1515 Broadway office tower. (They’re amongst a half-dozen groups which can be additionally anticipated to submit proposals to the state for a primary full-scale casino within the Big Apple.)

Although particulars have but to be spelled out, Jay-Z and his team are anticipated to supervise leisure programming at 1515 Broadway and at different SL Green properties on the “Crossroads of the World.” The metropolis’s largest business landlord, SLG has pursuits in six Times Square properties with a complete of greater than 4 million sq. ft.

In an announcement, Jay-Z stated, “New York is the epicenter of culture. We have the opportunity to create a destination at the heart of the true crossroads of the word. My partnership with SL Green and Caesars has all the promise and commitment to economic opportunity, growth and enrichment for the community and everyone that visits the Empire State.” 

SLG chief government officer Marc Holliday additionally shared extra specifics about his company’s casino proposal than have ever been disclosed.

Contrary to claims that Caesars Palace Times Square, because it’s to be known as, could be a mammoth gaming mecca which may overwhelm every thing round it, the casino would occupy solely eight flooring within the 54-story tower between West 43d and forty fourth streets.

None could be the bottom flooring, which is earmarked for non-gaming makes use of together with an entrance to the Minskoff Theater, residence of “The Lion King.”

“We are putting theater at ground level,” Holliday emphasised.

The casino flooring would additionally home eating places and leisure makes use of. Holliday estimated that the “boutique”-size casino would possibly occupy as little as 250,000 sq. ft of flooring space, a postage stamp in contrast with typical, sprawling gaming flooring in Atlantic City or Las Vegas.

A brand new, roughly 800-room, five-star lodge could be created within the constructing above them. Holliday stated he was “not yet prepared” to handle how the tower’s office tenants, together with Paramount Global’s headquarters, could be affected.

He rebutted claims by the Broadway League, which represents theater homeowners and producers, {that a} casino would be “dangerous” to Broadway theaters. On the opposite, he stated, SL Green’s proposal is designed to bolster all the companies round it. Although the League is adamantly against having a casino in its midst, the plan is enthusiastically backed by homeowners of eating places similar to Carmine’s, Bond 45 and Junior’s and by Actors Equity and lodge and development unions.

Jay-Z and his team are anticipated to supervise leisure programming at 1515 Broadway and at different SL Green properties on the “Crossroads of the World.”
Getty Images for The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

According to Holliday, consulting agency AKRF initiatives that casino guests will purchase 400,000 internet new Broadway tickets yearly. Additionally, SLG/Caesars/Roc Nation will buy 1000’s of tickets straight that will likely be offered each to casino patrons and to underserved communities.

The casino company’s loyalty program often known as Caesars Rewards, which boasts 60 million members worldwide, gives so-called bankable rewards that can be utilized at inns, eating places, theaters and shops past 1515 Broadway.

As a part of a “halo effect,” Holliday expects the casino will generate seven million extra annual guests to Times Square, generate seven million restaurant meals outdoors the casino and $166 million in retail purchases outdoors the casino constructing.

In SL Green’s view, the 1515 Broadway project is required to assist arrest a gradual, gradual decline within the district’s fortunes.

The slide, Holliday stated, doesn’t but mark a return to the lawless days of the Seventies-early Nineteen Nineties — though crime is noticeably up —  however relatively a slow-but-steady unraveling of the business power and sense of safety that Times Square had solely 10 years in the past.

Some main firms similar to Skadden and EY have moved away. Times Square-district office emptiness has soared from 5% in 2012 to almost 25% as we speak, in response to CBRE.

Since Toys ‘R’ Us left in 2015, extra nationwide retailers — presumably together with Forever 21 and American Eagle Outfitters — are additionally seeking to exit, citing a decline within the high quality of the road atmosphere. Meanwhile, extra taco, doughnut and different sorts of fast-food joints are shifting in.

The state will subject a proper request for proposal (RFP) for casino candidates subsequent month. The choice panel will then transfer some responses to a state siting committee, which is anticipated to decide on one location within the 5 boroughs earlier than the top of the year.

In addition to SLG/Caesars/Roc Nation, wannabe operators are anticipated to incorporate Related Companies and Wynn Resorts at Hudson Yards, Mets proprietor Steve Cohen and a casino accomplice close to Citi Field in Queens, and Soloviev Building Company and a casino accomplice for a posh known as Freedom Plaza on First Avenue within the East 30s.

At least one company is shifting to Times Square: accounting advisory agency Anchin, Block & Anchin signed a lease for 45,673 at Rudin’s Three Times Square, which is present process a significant, $25 million improve program.

Anchin will transfer from 1375 Broadway in fall of 2023.

Landlord government vice-president Michael Rudin stated that Anchin was “exactly the sort of firm we had in mind” when his company got down to reposition the tower, the place Touro College and University System signed for 243,000 sq. ft earlier this year. About 450,000 sq. ft stay accessible.

Anchin was repped by groups from Colliers and Cushman & Wakefield. Rudin was repped in-house.

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