Thor Releases First Renderings for Coney Island Casino Proposal

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Brooklyn’s Coney Island boardwalk has never been cleaner than in renderings for Thor Equities’ casino proposal, which the company released Friday morning.

The firm, founded by Coney Island native Joe Sitt, envisions a casino that will blend in to the aesthetics of the boardwalk but with architecture and design that Thor said will be an upgrade for the community and draw people to the beach year round, easing its winter economic slump, according to Thor.

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Thor partnered with Saratoga Casino Holdings, the Chickasaw Nation and Legends to build a $3 billion facility on 5 acres between Stillwell Avenue, West 12th Street, Surf Avenue and Wonder Wheel Way. In addition to a gaming floor, there will be a roller coaster, an indoor water park, hotels and museums.

“The Coney Island Casino is going to help revitalize an area in desperate need of a boost, and we are looking forward to sharing our vision for a year-round entertainment venue that’s going to create jobs and economic growth with the community and the rest of New York,” Thor COO Melissa Gliatta said in a statement.

While Thor and several other major firms are competing for one of three available downstate casino licenses, Sitt’s firm is among the latest to unveil designs for what it is calling The Coney.

Thor Equities executives have argued that their proposal has social benefits as well, in comparison to competitors hoping to build mostly in affluent places that are already year-round destinations.

Gliatta believes locals in Coney Island will reap the benefits of an all-seasons attraction to the boardwalk, where many retailers are left in the lurch during the winter months as they await beach season.

Revitalize Coney Island argued the same, saying that the rest of New York City and other parts of Brooklyn have seen major economic boosts from new developments and their associated job opportunities. Coney Islanders are more or less left with higher poverty and unemployment rates, the organization claimed.

Revitalize Coney Island is an website showcasing Thor’s objectives with the casino, but it’s unclear at this time how the two are associated.

Other casino proposals in the five boroughs include Bally’s plan to convince the Trump Organization to grant it the use of 17 of the 300 acres on the Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point in the Bronx.

Stefan Soloviev’s Soloviev Group and Mohegan hope to redevelop an empty section of Midtown East, where they plan an entertainment district complete with a giant Ferris wheel just south of the United Nations campus.

Hudson’s Bay Company, the parent company of Saks Fifth Avenue, wants to turn the top three floors of Saks’ 611 Fifth Avenue flagship store into a gaming floor, Commercial Observer previously reported.

Elsewhere, Related Companies with gaming partner Wynn Resorts want to build a facility in the western portion of Hudson Yards; Point72 Asset Management’s Steve Cohen is planning a gambling house next to Citi Field; and SL Green Realty, Jay-Z’s Roc Nation and Caesars Entertainment hope to get approved for a casino in Times Square.

Mark Hallum can be reached at mhallum@commercialobserver.com.