Thursday, March 23, 2023

Mets owner closer to getting casino

The City

A state lawmaker introduced a bill Wednesday that would authorize New York City to build on the parking lot at Citi Field, which would help pave the way for redevelopment plans envisioned by Mets owner Steve Cohen that include a new casino.

The legislation introduced by Assemblyman Jeffrion Aubry (D-Queens) calls for the parking lot to be developed for “a gaming facility and, in conjunction with such facility, commercial, retail, entertainment, recreational, hotel, convention, and or community facility uses,” according to the bill text.

Because the Citi Field lot is technically parkland, designated in 1939 as part of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, it requires state intervention to “alienate” it to facilitate construction. 

Aubry’s bill specifies that the land be discontinued as parkland “through the entering of leases or other agreements with New Green Willets, LLC, its affiliates, or any other entity or entities,” referencing the lobbying firm owned by Cohen. As part of what’s known as “park alienation,” the city would have to find at least 20 acres of replacement parkland or significantly improve other existing greenspace — paid for by the private developer, according to the legislation.

Cohen has pushed for redevelopment of the Citi Field parking lot, which is owned by the city and leased to the Mets, since shortly after buying the team for $2.4 billion in November 2020.

In the past few months he has hosted “visioning sessions” with locals and community leaders to get feedback on what Queens residents — and Mets fans across the city — would like to see in the area.

Aubry, who did not immediately respond to a call and text message seeking comment, previously told THE CITY that he had spoken many times with Cohen’s lobbying firm, New Green Willets, about their ideas for the parking lot. He said he was most concerned with creating jobs and recreational activities for his district, which includes Corona and East Elmhurst. 

“They have talked to me about it a number of times,” he told THE CITY in January. “The casino in my mind is important to them — not so important to me.” 

State Sen. Jessica Ramos, a Democrat who also represents the neighborhood, said she was blindsided by the legislation — a version of which she had planned on introducing.

“I was taken aback this morning, it was quite a surprise to see legislation submitted,” she told THE CITY, adding that any park alienation would require her sign-on in a jointly-introduced bill.

Ramos said she had not had the chance to read Aubry’s legislation yet.

“Not only do I have some reading to do but I also have some conversations to be had,” she added.


Anonymous said...

The Sheeple need to spend their hard earned money. That’s what capitalism is all about.

Anonymous said...

Why another casino in Queens?
Take twenty acres away from Central Park and build a casino there.
A casino in midtown Manhattan would do wonders for the economy.
Oh, I forgot. Central Park is sacrosanct. The billion-dollar local residents would shoot down that development in a nanosecond.

Kitara said...

"It's all about jobs for the Sheeple" Says Aubry.

Sounds like the usual rhetoric from politicians who are paid well for allowing (casinos, oil drilling, oil pipeline, polluting factory, mine, superstore, [put any bribe paying dirty business here].

And before we get the usual TDS about "DemoRats", "LibTurds" and "Woke" politicians, just be reminded that the "Trumpanzees" and "QAnon Creeps" are more in the pockets of big business than the Dems.

As for Ramos who said "Not only do I have some reading to do but I also have some conversations to be had,".

Will she be the first politician to actually read a piece of legislation?
What are these "conversations" she hopes to have?

Is she going to block this travesty?, or is she having conversations about her share of the pie?

ron s said...

Queens legislators jockeying into position at the behest of real estate interests. How surprising.

Anonymous said...

The only way this can work is if they also make Willets Point a transit, government and hospital hub for all of Flushing. Extend the 7 to Briarwood along Main Street. Extend the Flushing River to Jamaica bay to unstink Flushing Bay. Put the long awaited HHC hospital there. Move all government offices from downtown Flushing. Put the 1950-demolished Flushing bus terminal there. Put the Queens Symphony and other cultural institutions there. Set up a light rail tram to eliminate traffic from the center of Flushing. And bring back all the demolished Municipal Parking. Then Flushing can indeed grow, thrive, but also BREATHE>

Anonymous said...

The Park is fucking doomed, kook at those greedy "Honest" graft democrat mugshots and tell me there any chance at all of the casino being

And why are casinos ALWAYS sited in neighborhoods where the locals are usually dirt poor and easy marks for the casino operators?

Anonymous said...

I wonder what do whatever is left of the "Cosa nostra" think of these corporations moving in on what was their turf?
Not that I really care.

Anonymous said...

Build Baby Build !

Anonymous said...

As long as there is parking spaces I'm good....

FreedomFries Fred said...

Let's ban all e-bikes, bikes, and anything with a battery.

Anonymous said...

I’m outraged that the city is taking away mor parking spaces that car owners are entitled to for free.

Anonymous said...

Will this be like one of those TrumpTurd casinos in Atlantic City?

Lose baby lose !