Soloviev Group Proposes Casino Project with Affordable Housing in Manhattan

In a bold move to win approval for its proposed casino near the United Nations headquarters in Manhattan, the Soloviev Group has unveiled a groundbreaking plan that combines a state-of-the-art casino complex with a significant affordable housing initiative. 

Soloviev Group Adds Affordable Housing Units at Below-Market Rates

The developer, Stefan Soloviev, heir to the Solow real estate fortune, has announced a revamped proposal that includes more than 500 affordable housing units to be offered permanently below market-rate rents, catering to the city’s growing housing crisis, reported The New York Times.

The taya365 Soloviev Group’s innovative approach comes at a time when the competition for New York’s coveted casino licenses is fiercer than ever. The revised plan for the 6.7-acre site, now known as Freedom Plaza, no longer features the previously proposed Ferris wheel. Instead, the project comprises two elegant champagne-colored hotel towers offering a total of 1,200 rooms, a residential complex, a democracy museum, and a sprawling 4.7-acre green space open to the public.

What sets this proposal apart is its commitment to addressing New York City’s pressing housing needs. Of the 1,325 units planned, 513 would be designated for affordable housing programs, with renters qualifying if they make an average of 80% or less than the area’s median income. These units would be rented permanently below the market rates, providing much-needed relief to the city’s housing crisis.

Soloviev Group’s Casino Project Leverages Affordable Housing for Local Support

According to Michael Hershman, CEO of the Soloviev Group, the affordable housing component is directly tied to the casino project’s economic viability. He explained that the inclusion of a casino on the property enables the company to offer these affordable housing units in a prime midtown location. Without the casino, this offer would be rescinded.

This strategic move aims to win local support, which is pivotal in securing one of the three downstate gaming licenses New York state officials will issue next year. The Soloviev Group’s partnership with Mohegan, the gaming unit of the Mohegan Tribe in Connecticut, further emphasizes the project’s credibility and potential benefits to the community.

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To further engage with the community, the Soloviev Group has commissioned a public art installation on the property. Renowned artist Bruno Munro will create a captivating display featuring over 17,000 low-light, fiber-optic stemmed spheres, framing a painted landscape against the backdrop of the city’s iconic skyline and the East River waterfront. The Soloviev Group’s proposal is one of several in a competitive bidding pool. Among the competitors is 92-year-old billionaire Larry Silverstein, who has also integrated affordable housing into his Midtown casino plan, emphasizing the social and economic benefits of such initiatives.