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Soloviev Group Adds Affordable Housing to Manhattan Casino Plans

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The Soloviev Group has put forward an innovative plan in order to try to increase support for its proposed casino near the UN headquarters in Manhattan. It intends to combine a modern casino complex with an affordable housing initiative.

New Plan Includes Hundreds of Housing Units

Stefan Soloviev, the heir to the Solow real estate fortune, has revealed plans that include more than 500 affordable housing units that would be available at below-market-rate rents in order to try to help with the city’s housing crisis.

There is intense competition for New York’s casino licenses. The new plan for the 6.7-acre site, currently known as Freedom Plaza, is without the previously proposed Ferris wheel. It includes two hotel towers with a total of 1,200 rooms, a democracy museum, a residential complex, and a 4.7-acre green space that would be open to the public.

The plan includes 1,325 housing units, of which 513 would be designated as affordable housing. A renter would qualify for a unit if they earn an average of 80% or less than the area’s median income.

Casino to Fund Affordable Housing

The CEO of the Soloviev Group, Michael Hershman, explained that affordable housing is linked to the casino project’s economic prospects. He said that it is the casino that would enable the company to provide affordable housing units in such a prime location. If the casino license is not granted, then affordable housing units will not be possible.

The company is hoping that its new plan will be supported by locals. New York is due to award three downstate gaming licenses next year, and the Soloviev Group’s partnership with Mohegan, the gambling unit of the Mohegan tribe in Connecticut, is also thought likely to help the group.

Plans Include Public Art Installation

As part of its efforts to win over the local community, the Soloviev Group has commissioned a public art installation from the artist Bruno Munro. The piece will use more than 17,000 low-light, fiber-optic stemmed spheres to frame a painted landscape against the backdrop of New York’s famous skyline and East River waterfront.

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