The Soloviev Group proposed to construct a huge integrated casino resort on Manhattan's East Side. Yet, it recently decided to remove the Ferris wheel from its design and add over 500 housing units whose rent will be below the current market rates. The project will be near the United Nations Headquarters.
Stefan Soloviev controls the Soloviev Group, and he inherited his wealth from Sheldon Solow, his late father. Sheldon invested heavily in New York's real estate industry.
Soloviev's inheritance included the company's 9 West 57th St. skyscraper near Central Park and the Plaza Hotel, and a 6.7-acre parcel south of the United Nations Headquarters. The "Freedom Plaza" land is between the FDR Drive, 38th and 41st streets near 1st Ave.
The investor's ventures in farming, railroads, and the real estate sectors have thrived. Yet, he is determined to increase his presence in the country's gaming industry.
His company's proposed company will compete with other casinos for one of downstate New York's three gaming licenses. The state's gaming regulators will issue the permits in 2024.
The New Casino Design
The Soloviev Group disclosed it had changed its initial project plan this week. It eliminated a Ferris wheel that it had added as the focal point.
The new project plan features two hotel towers with 1,200 rooms and a skyscraper, which will be the property's residential complex. The complex will comprise 1,325 units, 513 of which will be for affordable housing.
Nevertheless, tenants with 80 percent or less than the Manhattan's East Side's median income will be legible for the occupancies.
The Soloviev Group will permanently rent its three-, two-, and one-bedroom units and studios below existing apartment rates. Michael Hershman, Soloviev Group's CEO, informed The New York Times that their affordable housing units will greatly reduce Manhattan's housing shortage.
Hershman stated that the state's housing law doesn't require the firm to construct rent-controlled units. He believes that the casino will enable the Soloviev to provide affordable housing in the area.
The firm's executive stated that besides having a residential structure and hotel towers, the property will have a large public green space and a democracy "museum."
However, he is currently working on an art installation in the premises as Bruno Munro is expected to put more than 17K low-light fiber-optic stemmed spheres to form a painted landscape that the East River waterfront and Manhattan's skyline will frame.
The Soloviev Group's Efforts to Convince the Government and Manhattan Residents
The Soloviev's move to provide affordable housing programs will help its casino proposal get the government and residents' support. It collaborated with Mohegan, the Mohegan Tribe's gaming unit, to finance the gaming project.
Nevertheless, the firm is facing stiff competition from other gaming operators that have highlighted the social and economic benefits that the community will get from their gaming projects.