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

SL Green and Caesars Entertainment have a glamorous new partner For Hope-Times Square Casino — Brooklyn-born billionaire rapper and entertainment impresario Jay-Z and his Roc Nation, Realty Check has learned.

The three-way partnership, to be announced at SL Green’s annual investor conference on Monday, marks a dramatic turn in the developer and Caesars’ quest to launch a casino. SL Green’s 1515 Broadway Office Tower, (They are among a half-dozen teams also expected to submit proposals to the state for the first full-scale casino in the Big Apple.)

Although details have yet to be made clear, Jay-Z and his team are expected to oversee entertainment programming at “Crossroads of the World” at 1515 Broadway and other SL Green properties. The city’s largest commercial landlord, SLG has interests in six Times Square properties totaling more than four million square feet.

Jay-Z said in a statement, “New York is the epicenter of culture. We have the opportunity to create a destination at the heart of the word’s true crossroads. My partnership with SL Green and Caesars will bring economic opportunity, growth and prosperity to the community.” And there’s all the promise and commitment to everyone who visits the Empire State.

SLG chief executive Mark Holliday has also been more revealing than ever about his company’s casino proposition.

Contrary to claims that Caesars Palace Times Square, as it’s called, will be a massive gaming mecca that could overwhelm everything around it, the casino occupies only eight floors in the 54-story tower between West 43rd and 44th Streets. Will capture

None will be on the ground floor, which has been earmarked for non-gaming uses, including the entrance to the Minskoff Theatre, home of “The Lion King.”

“We’re keeping the theater grassroots,” Holliday insisted.

The casino floor will also have restaurant and entertainment access. Holliday estimated that a “boutique”-sized casino could have 250,000 square feet of floor space, as little as a postage stamp, compared to the typical, sprawling gaming floors in Atlantic City or Las Vegas.

A new, nearly 800-room, five-star hotel will be built in the building above them. Holliday said he was “not yet ready” to address how the move would affect the tower’s office tenants, including Paramount Global’s headquarters.

he denied Claim by Broadway League, which represents theater owners and producers, that a casino would be “dangerous” to Broadway theaters. In contrast, he said, SL Green’s proposal is designed to strengthen all the businesses around it. Although the league is staunchly opposed to having a casino in its midst, the plan is enthusiastically supported by the owners of restaurants such as Carmine’s, Bond 45 and Junior’s, and by Actors Equity and hotel and construction associations.

Jay Z
Jay-Z and his team are expected to oversee entertainment programming at “Crossroads of the Worlds” at 1515 Broadway and other SL Green properties.
Getty Images for The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

According to Holiday, the consulting firm AKRF estimates that casino visitors will buy 400,000 net new Broadway tickets annually. Additionally, SLG/Caesars/Roc Nation will purchase thousands of tickets directly to be provided to both casino patrons and under-served communities.

The casino company’s loyalty program known as Caesars Rewards, which has 60 million members worldwide, offers so-called bankable rewards that can be used at hotels, restaurants, theaters and stores beyond 1515 Broadway.

As part of the “halo effect”, Holliday expects the casino to generate seven million more annual visitors to Times Square, seven million restaurant meals outside the casino, and $166 million in retail purchases outside the casino building.

In SL Green’s view, the 1515 Broadway project is needed to help stop the slow, gradual decline in the district’s fortunes.

The slide, Holliday said, does not yet mark a return to the lawless days of the 1970s–1990s—though crime has risen markedly—but rather a slow-but-steady unveiling of the commercial energy and sense of security that Times Square has brought. Was only 10 years ago.

Some big companies like Skadden and EY have dropped out. According to CBRE, Times Square-District office vacancy has increased from 5% in 2012 to nearly 25% today.

Since Toys ‘R’ Us left in 2015, more national retailers — possibly including Forever 21 and American Eagle Outfitters — are also looking to pull out, citing declining quality of street environments. Meanwhile, more tacos, donuts and other types of fast-food joints are popping up.

The state will issue a formal request for proposal (RFP) for casino applicants next month. The selection panel will then take some of the feedback to a state meeting committee, which is expected to select a venue in five cities before the end of the year.

In addition to SLG/Caesars/Roc Nation, wannabe operators included related companies at Hudson Yards and Wynn Resorts, Steve Cohen, owner of the Mets and a casino partner near Citi Field in Queens, and the Soloviev Building Company and a casino partner for a complex is expected to happen. Called Freedom Plaza on First Avenue in the East 30s.

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At least one company is moving to Times Square: accounting advisory firm Anchin, Block & Anchin signed a lease for 45,673 at Rudin’s Three Times Square, which is undergoing a major $25 million upgrade program.

Anchin will move to 1375 Broadway in the fall of 2023.

Michael Rudin, the landlord’s executive vice president, said Anchin was “exactly the kind of firm we had in mind” when his company prepared to replace the tower, where the Touro College and University System opened a 243,000-square-foot building earlier this year. signed for. Approximately 450,000 square feet remain available.

Anchin was replaced by teams from Colliers and Cushman & Wakefield. Rudin was returned to the house.

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