Thor and Partners Release Scale of Coney Casino Proposal

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Thor Equities is honing the scope of its casino proposal for Coney Island, Brooklyn, a project now simply known as The Coney.

Thor and its partners — Saratoga Casino Holdings, the Chickasaw Nation and Legends — have plans beyond blackjack tables. They announced Thursday that the $3 billion development plan will include a 500-room hotel, a 2,500-seat concert venue, 70,000 square feet of retail and 90,000 square feet of meeting and event space.

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While the first renderings were released in March 2023 and the Joe Sitt-led Thor continues to wait for the New York State Gaming Commission to advise further on requirements to get one of the three downstate casino permits, the group released updated renderings of the partnership’s vision for the 5 acres between Stillwell Avenue, West 12th Street and Wonder Wheel Way.

“For two years we have been speaking with the residents of Coney Island and Southern Brooklyn about the need for a project that creates careers, supports local businesses, and centers entertainment around the idea of a playground that is truly accessible to the people,” Sam Gerrity, the CEO of Saratoga, said in a statement. “[Coney Island] needs a project that provides year-round economic support while also lifting up the infrastructure in one of the most densely traveled areas of the community.”

The updates to the plan follow the New York City Council in April passing legislation to grant any developer who wins one of the three available downstate casino licenses a zoning amendment for a facility in a high-density and commercial manufacturing district as of right. 

It’ll be a fast track around the city’s long Uniform Land Use Review Procedure that’s usually required for zoning changes.

And the list of competing proposals for Sitt to put a casino in his native Coney Island is a weighty enumeration.

Related Companies and Wynn Resorts want a facility in the western portion of Hudson Yards; Point72 Asset Management’s Steve Cohen is planning one next to Citi Field in Queens; the Soloviev Group and Mohegan would like to develop an entertainment district near the United Nations; SL Green Realty, Caesars Entertainment and Jay-Z’s Roc Nation aim to build one in Times Square; and Resorts World New York City is hoping to redevelop its south Queens “race-ino” into a Las Vegas-style casino, partnering with their own rapper, Nas.

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