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New York’s Metropolitan Park Casino Development Backed by Queens Councilman

A notable development arises as New York City Council member Francisco Moya extends his endorsement to proposals for a casino in Queens.

Specifically, he throws his weight behind Met owner Steve Cohen's ambitious initiative to construct an $8 billion entertainment complex adjacent to Citi Field. This move could potentially reshape the landscape of leisure and tourism in the city while igniting discussions about urban development and economic revitalization efforts.

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In the Best Interest of Queens and New York City

Moya, who represents the areas of Flushing Meadow Park and Willets Point, released a statement in which he said that he “wholeheartedly” believes the development is in the best interest of the area and the city as a whole.

For the project, called “Metropolitan Park” to go ahead, the state legislature will need to approve a law changing the status of the land around Citi Field, as it is currently classed as parkland. Moya is well known for his support of development projects and he has called Metropolitan Park an “economic engine” that would attract visitors all year round.

However, there is some resistance to this. State Senator Jessica Ramos is opposing the project and she has been critical of Cohen’s and Moya’s lobbying strategy.

I question the strategy here. This press release, the last-minute press conference before my third town hall, and the paid canvassers at my first town hall – these are not the open and transparent moves that I would expect from someone claiming to value real, honest community engagement.

Jessica RamosState Senator

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Regulatory Delays Boost Cohen’s Chances

While there are some uncertainties regarding regulatory approvals for Metropolitan Park, some believe that the delay in awarding new casino licenses in the New York City area until late next year may work in Cohen’s favor. It affords him more time to build support in Albany where he reportedly has a good relationship with Mayor Eric Adams and Governor Kathy Hochul.

However, Cohen’s project is just one of many hoping to receive approval. There are competing proposals from The Related Companies, Wynn, SL Green, Caesars, Roc Nation, Thor Equities, and more. Regardless of which receives approval, it is unlikely that doors will open for business until 2026 at the earliest.

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