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Revealed: Related's $12B, 6.2M SF Hudson Yards Casino Proposal

One of the last big questions of the hunt for New York City's first casino license has been answered.

A preliminary rendering and site plan Related is proposing for a casino, office and residential project that would deck over the railyards on the West Side of Manhattan.

Related Cos. has formally requested permission to change its plans for the second phase of its $25B Hudson Yards project to include a casino, two supertall towers — one office, one hotel — and a 1,500-unit apartment building.

The project, which is contingent upon Related and Wynn Resorts winning one of the three downstate casino licenses that are up for grabs, would be constructed over the rest of the railyards between West 30th and 33rd streets. 

The total development would span more than 6.2M SF across three buildings, with the centerpiece being a 2.7M SF casino and hotel complex reaching nearly 1,200 feet tall. The casino would be in a five-story podium running along West 33rd, and above it would be a hotel with 1,750 rooms, according to the application. Crain's New York Business first reported the proposal.

At the southwest corner of the site would be the 1,172-foot-tall residential tower, which would include more than 324 units set aside as affordable housing. Along 11th Avenue would be a 1,366-foot-tall building with nearly 2.2M SF of office space, a 120K SF public school with 750 seats, a daycare center, cultural space and 12K SF of retail.

“We are excited to continue engaging with stakeholders across the local community as part of the city land-use process for the undeveloped railyards,” Related spokesperson Jon Weinstein said in a statement. “The opportunity to bring a world-class resort to Hudson Yards will catalyze the master plan for the broader Western Yards and $12 billion in total investment. As the state’s parallel process moves forward, we look forward to unveiling our full proposed plan which will provide thousands of jobs, billions in revenue and community benefits, a new park, affordable housing, a school and more.” 

Related needs several layers of city approval before it can proceed with the development because a casino wasn't part of its proposal when it was awarded development rights and subsidies to deck over and build on the Western Rail Yards. 

Related included an alternate development plan in the zoning application, but Weinstein told Crain's the inclusion of that plan is only a “procedural step” and doesn't represent what the developer would do if it loses the casino license bidding war.

The developer, led by Chairman Stephen Ross and CEO Jeff Blau, has fierce competition for the gaming licenses. At $12B, it appears to have the largest proposed investment total, outpacing New York Mets owner Steve Cohen's $8B proposal for a casino next to Citi Field in Queens that would be operated by Hard Rock International.

SL Green is pursuing a casino license at 1515 Broadway in Times Square with Caesars Entertainment and Jay-Z's Roc Nation, a bid that has its fair share of political backers and opponents. Thor Equities wants to put a casino on Coney Island, and Silverstein Properties is pitching a 1.8M SF two-tower casino and hotel just a few blocks north of Related’s proposal. 

One development firm has already dropped out of the raceVornado, which decided against proposing a casino next to Penn Station. 

Momentum on the actual decision has been slow but is expected to pick up shortly. The state’s Gaming Facility Location Board is due to respond to a second batch of questions from potential bidders this spring, after which applications will be due in 30 days, Crain's reported.