Hudson Yards $12 Billion Gambling Mecca Plan Unveiled by Developer and Casino Partner

Related and Wynn Resorts unveiled their rendering for the proposed $12 billion project that the developers want to build at Hudson Yards. Competition is heating up with at least 11 developers vying for a coveted gambling license, including five in Manhattan. Only three licenses will be awarded downstate.

| 15 Mar 2024 | 01:43

It will be, its developers say, the biggest thing ever on the West Side. Maybe because they never built Westway?

The project, from Related Companies and Wynn Resorts, would deck over the western end of the Hudson Rail Yards and build a casino, luxury hotel, an apartment building, a class AA office tower, a public school and green space the size of Bryant Park.

“As the single largest investment ever to be made in the local communities of Chelsea, Hudson Yards, Hell’s Kitchen and the entire West Side,” said a statement from Related and Wynn, “the project has been designed to enhance the neighborhood and maximize benefit to residents and the surrounding community.”

The statement was accompanied by dramatic renderings of how the project, whose price tag has previously been set at $12 billion, would transform an open rail yard to a green swathed space encircled by the Highline.

The emphasis, in both the renderings and statement, on how the project would benefit the neighborhood is no accident. The fate of the projects request for a casino license, one of five proposals in Manhattan and 11 overall, is first in the hands of a six member advisory boards set up to gauge local support.

At least one of the local officials on the board–that includes a state senator, assembly and council members–must support the project for it to go through to further consideration by the panel that will then select the three sites in or around New York City for casino licenses previously authorized by the legislature.

The developers did not say what would happen to the overall project if they failed to win one of the Casino licenses but they did say, “Wynn New York City will be a catalyst for the development of the entire western half of Hudson Yards.”

The need for community approval has set off an unusual bidding war among potential casino operators. They must tell the state how much money they will generate, but at the same time they must tell the neighborhood how much good they will do.

One of the other rivals, the Soloviev Group, which has proposed a mixed use East River project is just south of the United Nations that it is developing in conjunction Mohegan, is proposing five acres of public park land atop its underground casino. The developer is also holding a virtual vendor information session for potential suppliers from gaming equipment makers to food and beverage products on March 19, 2024, from 4-6 p.m.

The Related/Wynn statement included several assurances to the west side neighborhoods. Wynn said, for example, that its casinos have a record of generating more money per customer.

“Wynn New York City will attract luxury and aspirational travelers to our destination resort in Hudson Yards,” said the CEO of Wynn Resorts, Craig Billings. “Wynn guests consistently spend more when they travel. That results in greater tax revenues for the City and State and more spend in the local community, all with less foot traffic than might be required at other resorts.”

There will also be a 5.6 acre park that the community, including dog owners, will be invited to help plan, the developers said. “The space will be designed with the specific needs and input of community stakeholders with programming and areas for residents and their pets to embrace,” the developers said.

The apartment building will include units designated as affordable although the precise number wasn’t cited, presumably to leave room for negotiation. A previous plan had called for six apartment buildings on the western rail yards, but Related has said this one building will have as many apartments.

The project will generate 35,000 construction jobs and 5.000 permanent jobs the developers said.

“Other features, including a substantial community benefits program, security program and traffic mitigation plan will be announced as Wynn and Related submit their full application to the New York State Gaming Facility Location Board and continue through the environmental review process,” the developers said.

“We look forward to completing our vision for Hudson Yards in partnership with Wynn Resorts and revealing full project plans as part of our application to New York State.” said Jeff T. Blau, CEO of Related Companies.

Community Board Four is meeting Tuesday night, March 19, at 6:30 to discuss the proposal. Register here: