Caesars Entertainment has agreed to a partnership with SL Green for the redevelopment of 1515 Broadway as a premiere entertainment and gaming venue in the heart of Times Square, New York.
The operator intends to install a new casino at the site, though this element of the scheme could be put to the test by competing bids from other operators such as Wynn Resorts.
Caesars contends the redevelopment will provide ‘billions’ of dollars in tax revenue to New York City and State, while also accelerating New York’s economic recovery through strategic partnerships with area businesses utilizing its loyalty program Caesars Rewards.
Caesars Rewards members will be able to use credits at Broadway shows, local hotels, restaurants, retail stores, comedy clubs, entertainment venues, and more, with the aim of driving more tourists to area businesses and creating ‘thousands’ of direct and indirect jobs in and around Times Square.
Tom Reeg, CEO of Caesars, commented: “Caesars is thrilled to partner with SL Green in connection with a five-star project that will meet and exceed New Yorkers’ expectations for world-class entertainment, immediately enhancing New York City’s tourism engine and elevating this one-of-a-kind global destination to new heights.
“As one of the largest mobile sports books in New York, Caesars is passionate about New York itself. Caesars is also deeply invested in New York-based restaurant groups, chefs, and entertainers from across the Empire State.”
In addition to the economic benefits, SL Green and Caesars are proposing significant security and traffic improvements as part of their proposal, focusing on visitor safety and reducing vehicle congestion amongst other objectives.
“We believe that Times Square offers the best location for a new resort casino that can attract tourists and benefit local businesses,” said Marc Holliday, CEO of SL Green.
“We’re excited to pursue this license with Caesars and our many local partners. Our approach will ensure that under-represented communities benefit both in terms of employment and investment opportunities.
“A casino in Times Square is in keeping with existing uses in the area. Times Square is the center of the entertainment universe.
“Because we are proposing a renovation, once the license is issued, we can open quicker than other facilities, which require entirely new construction, changes in law, and will be disruptive to their local communities.”
Caesars further noted that the Caesars Palace Times Square redevelopment will be 100% privately funded, and the operator will license its brand and manage the operations under a ‘long-term’ management contract.
The company has already made significant strides in New York this year, agreeing a multi-year partnership with the New York Mets in April and finalizing a similar agreement with the Buffalo Bills three months prior.
Speaking on the redevelopment proposals, Trade Union Actors’ Equity added: “The proposal from the developer for a Times Square Casino would be a game changer that boosts security and safety in the Times Square neighborhood with increased security staff, more sanitation equipment, and new cameras.
“We applaud the developer’s commitment to make the neighborhood safer for arts workers and audience members alike.”