Saks Fifth Avenue Owner Unveils Plan for Casino at NYC Store

The race to build New York’s first full-service casino is getting high.

Hudson’s Bay Company, owner of the Saks Fifth Avenue department store chain, said it will bid with the state to convert the top three floors of its flagship store in Midtown Manhattan into a Monte Carlo-style casino.

The project is on a growing tender list to make sure three licenses are available for an official casino in the New York City area. Hudson Bay joins a hopeful field that includes Steve Cohen, owner of Mets and Related Companies, the developer behind Hudson Yards, in the pursuit of poker and table games. Others are currently banned in the city.

The project, which begins on the ninth floor of the luxury department store, will cover approximately 200,000 square feet, including a new lobby with a separate red carpet entrance to the casino.

“It will match the aesthetic and luxurious details of the Saks Fifth Avenue store,” said Trenesa Danuser, a spokeswoman for Hudson’s Bay. Rendered images of the proposed casino show well-dressed urbanites sitting beneath chandeliers, reminiscent of stylish ’60s spy movies and moonlight proms on The roof of the pre-war building is clad in stone.

The current use of the floor is less attractive. On Friday mornings, the 9th floor offers a variety of women’s discount dresses, lingerie, children’s books and holiday decorations. The 10th floor is used as a residence SaksWorksThe company’s recent foray into flexible office spaces.

Compared to many other casino bids, including large-scale development projects, Saks’ proposal is relatively modest — which could ultimately benefit it. Ms. Danuser said the redesign, which does not involve resizing the building, could be completed in less than 12 months, while more complex proposals could take years to develop. onion.

Michael Tortorici, founding partner of Ariel Property Advisors, a commercial real estate brokerage, said the project could also benefit from the city’s recovering economy.

“Tourists are coming back and they’re sticking to their tourist attractions,” he said, with this busy stretch of Fifth Avenue still benefiting from walking traffic out of the city.

Opposition is possible. Layla Law-Gisiko, chair of the council’s Land Use, Housing & Zoning Committee, said Community Committee 5, which represents the area including the Saks building, opposes the casino development because of concerns. fear it could harm local businesses.

The building is also across from Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, the iconic centerpiece of the Roman Catholic Church in New York. An archdiocesan spokesman declined to comment on the plans.

Standing outside the cathedral, Chris Wilmout, 43, from Washington, DC, was touring the town. “Not fans, not fans,” he said of the casino. “Times Square made more sense, because it was like Vegas down there.”

The contractor Manhattan area is especially crowded. SL Green, a major commercial developer, is working with Caesars Entertainment to convert an office skyscraper at 1515 Broadway in Times Square, near the New Year’s Eve drop, into an entertainment complex and casino. Related companies will work with Wynn Resorts to develop the sprawling western half of Hudson Yards into a convention and casino complex with a new school and housing complex. And the Soloviev Group has its eye on a 6.7-acre site near United Nations Headquarters that could host a large mixed-use complex with a ferris wheel and a new museum.

In Queens, Mr. Cohen is considering a casino bid on about 50 acres of publicly owned land next to Citi Field, while Thor Equities pursuing a plan for a Coney Island project in Brooklyn. This week, Las Vegas Sands, the gambling and resort company, also announced plans to apply for a casino license on the nearly 80-acre site of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Arena on Long Island.

Two other casino-like operations, the so-called racinos in Yonkers and Queens featuring horse racing and digital betting, are also racing to get official gambling licenses.

The decision on which sites get a license can take more than a year. Official bids may not be submitted for several months, while the developers asked the state board in charge to review further questions about the application process.

Zeke Minaya contributed reporting.


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