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SL Green Hires Adams’ Former Chief Of Staff For Casino Bid

1515 Broadway, which SL Green and Caesars Entertainmment hope to develop into a Times Square casino.

SL Green has brought on Mayor Eric Adams' former chief of staff to help the company’s quest for a casino license for its proposed gaming facility in Times Square.

Frank Carone, who left his job in city government last month to set up his own consulting firm, has signed a deal with Greenberg Traurig, the law firm working with SL Green on the project, Politico reported.

Carone, who is temporarily prohibited from lobbying city government, told Politico in a statement he will “help create a diversified community engagement hiring plan as part of the proposal for a Times Square gaming destination.”

SL Green has joined with Caesars Entertainment and Jay-Z’s Roc Nation talent agency to pitch the Times Square building that currently houses The Lion King musical as a future gaming destination.

There are three licenses downstate casino now on offer, with the New York Gaming Facility Board opening its request for applications for the licenses last month.

Bids require a minimum of a $500M capital investment and $500M license fee, and the process is expected to be extremely competitive, with those vying for the licenses required to show how their offering benefits the local economy, maximizes tourism, factors in live entertainment as well as mitigates impact on housing and small businesses. 

SL Green faces stiff competition from other major real estate firms that want the licenses. Related has joined with Wynn Resorts with a proposal to build a casino on the undeveloped western half of Hudson Yards, while Thor Equities, Saratoga Casino Holdings, the Chickasaw Nation and Legends intend to apply for a license for a facility at Coney IslandVornado, RXR Realty, the Soloviev Group and Saks Fifth Avenue have all reportedly expressed an interest in entering the bidding process.

SL Green would need the support of Gov. Kathy Hochul, borough presidents and city and state lawmakers with appointments to advisory committees, as well as the mayor, to win a license, per Politico.

The casino bid would be a shot in the arm for the REIT, which is the largest owner of New York City offices. It posted a $93M net loss in 2022 and is in the process of selling off some of its holdings to bolster its cash reserves, Crain's New York Business reported.