[bsa_pro_ad_space id=1 link=same] [bsa_pro_ad_space id=2]

Skip to Content

Operator News

US – Parx Casino owner joins race for New York casino with Silverstein Properties

By - 26 June 2023

Greenwood Gaming, owner of Parx Casino, has joined the race for a New York casino licence, in a partnership with Silverstein Properties, a national real estate investment, development, and management firm.

They have announced plans to develop the Avenir, a hotel, casino, entertainment, and residential complex on vacant land on Manhattan’s far West Side.

The 1.8 million square foot project will be located on 92,000 square feet of undeveloped land at 41st Street and 11th Avenue, just north of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, New York City’s premiere convention destination, which hosts more than 150 major events and 2.5 million visitors each year.

The Avenir will comprise two 46-story towers connected by a public sky bridge and include 1,000 luxury hotel rooms; an eight-story, 600,000 square foot gaming, entertainment, and restaurant complex at its base; more than 100 units of 100 percent, permanently affordable housing; and a 1,000-seat performance hall on its top floor. The project site is fully owned and controlled by Silverstein, is shovel ready upon approval, and free of complex logistical infrastructure hurdles, such as a heavily congested immediate area, the need for residential or commercial displacement, or the construction of a large support deck.

Led by Founder and Chairman Larry Silverstein, Silverstein Properties is widely known for its civic leadership following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, when the company worked with dozens of elected officials and public agencies to rebuild the World Trade Center site and revitalize Lower Manhattan. The company is now poised to assist in the City and the State’s economic recovery through a project that will create 4,000 well-paid union construction jobs and 5,500 permanent union jobs, generate billions of dollars in direct and indirect economic activity for the State and the City as well as funding for the MTA, and provide more than 100 affordable apartments amid a worsening housing crisis.

“Our City and State face a confluence of historic challenges right now,” said Larry A. Silverstein, Chairman of Silverstein Properties. “These include a housing crisis, public safety challenges, budget shortfalls, and a commercial real estate market in transition. We need to work with State and local leaders to do everything we can to make New York the best place to live, work, and visit. We’ve done it before, and I am confident we can do it again. I’ve always said you should never bet against New York; This City and State will come back bigger and better than ever before.”

“Our company has been part of the Hudson Yards / Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood for nearly 40 years,” said Lisa Silverstein, Vice Chair of Silverstein Properties. “We have already built 549 affordable homes on West 42nd Street and look forward to developing over a hundred more as part of this project. The Avenir is an opportunity to create much needed affordable housing, jobs, and economic development, along with many neighborhood improvements in an isolated and often-overlooked part of the City.”

Silverstein Properties is partnering on the Avenir with Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment and affiliates, the owner and operator of Parx Casino, the highest grossing casino-entertainment complex in Pennsylvania and the largest operator in the Philadelphia region. The privately owned company has established itself as a regional leader in community reinvestment and charitable giving since the opening of Parx Casino in Bensalem, PA in 2009.

“We are excited to join with Silverstein Properties to create a gaming, leisure, and entertainment destination that will reflect the unique character and spirit of New York City, and attract visitors from all over the globe,” said Eric Hausler, the Chief Executive Officer of Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment. “We are a company with deep roots in our communities. We look forward to working with the Hell’s Kitchen and Hudson Yards communities’ elected, civic, and labor leaders to create something that serves the neighborhood and its residents.”

Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment employs more than 2,500 local and regional residents. A second location, Parx Casino Shippensburg in central Pennsylvania, opened in January 2023. Parx supports more than 200 local, regional and national charitable organizations and has donated tens of millions of dollars to these charitable organizations since the beginning of the pandemic. Parx Casino chose to go non-smoking in July 2020, and is one of the largest commercial casinos to voluntarily choose to be non-smoking. Greenwood is led by a deep and experienced management team with extensive design, development and operations experience across all aspects of the casino and entertainment industry.

Affordable housing is a cornerstone of the Avenir, and Silverstein Properties plans to build more than 100 apartments that are 100 percent and permanently affordable on site at a mix of unit types and sizes, which will be available to New Yorkers through the City’s housing lottery system. Manhattan Community Board 4 recently issued a report calling for more opportunities to create affordable housing in the area, and the Avenir aims to help achieve that goal through its housing program.

Silverstein has long standing roots in the Avenir’s immediate area, as well as extensive experience developing affordable housing in New York City, including in the Hell’s Kitchen / Hudson Yards neighborhood. In 1984, Larry Silverstein purchased the full square block between West 42nd and West 41st Streets and 11th and 12th Avenues in anticipation that the commercial redevelopment of Times Square would ignite the need for rental housing nearby. Silverstein was one of the first companies to spur residential development in the neighborhood when it opened River Place, a 921-apartment tower, in 2001, and Silver Towers, a 1,359-apartment residential building in two 60-story towers, in 2010. Those buildings – directly across the street from the proposed development – include 549 affordable homes, including 230 apartments that the company recently converted to affordable housing in River Place.

The company also recently won approval for Innovation QNS, which will build 3,190 mixed-income homes in Astoria, Queens, with 1,436, or 45%, of those apartments affordable.

“Just as we did with Innovation QNS – and on all of our projects – we look forward to working with our elected leaders, neighborhood groups, unions, housing advocates, and community members to find ways to address the City’s most challenging issues, including affordable housing, jobs and infrastructure,” said Marty Burger, CEO, Silverstein Properties. “The Avenir is a unique opportunity for the State and the City to ensure its long-term economic sustainability, and provide equitable access to real opportunity,”

Additionally, Silverstein is co-developing a mixed-income project in Lower Manhattan at 5 World Trade Center with more than 300 units of permanent, affordable housing planned.

Silverstein has developed two Four Seasons hotels – Four Seasons New York Downtown and Four Seasons Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort – and is in discussions with luxury hotel operators about the proposed 1,000-key luxury hotel as part of the Avenir.

Silverstein and Parx plan to submit a proposal to the State’s Gaming Facility Location Board for official consideration through the State’s Request for Applications (RFA) process. The Avenir will be union built and union staffed. The project is expected to create 4,000 union construction jobs, and more than 5,500 permanent union jobs upon completion.

The Avenir will be designed jointly by Steelman Partners and CetraRuddy. The 46-story, distinctive two-tower complex will include a public sky bridge that connects the towers on the 45th floor. The 45th floor, located 630 feet above the street, will also feature the project’s signature design feature: a 1,000-seat performance hall, which will be available for use by local community and school groups along with world-class concerts in a stunning, intimate setting. The hall will be designed to complement – not compete with – Broadway theaters.

Steelman Partners is a global firm specializing in the multidisciplinary facets of entertainment architecture, interior design, graphic design, planning, theater design, 3D design, and lighting.

“We welcome the opportunity to design The Avenir, an integrated resort in New York City,” said Paul Steelman, CEO, Steelman Partners. “We have designed entertainment, hotel, and casino spaces all over the world and with each space, we focus on creating value that fits seamlessly into the neighborhood and the cultural fabric of which they are a part. This site has important, unique connections to the City’s transportation systems and the Javits Center. The Far West Side of Manhattan is a place rich with history, character, diversity, and opportunity, and we look forward to designing something special that will elevate and connect the neighborhood in new ways.”

The development site is easily accessed by the Lincoln Tunnel and is within walking distance to the Port Authority Bus Terminal, Times Square, Grand Central Terminal, Penn Station and the Moynihan Train Hall, the A/C/E subway lines and PATH trains. It is also close to the NY Waterway pier at West 39th Street, which connects the site to six ferry routes originating from New Jersey.

Share via
Copy link