Wynn New York City Casino Plan Faces Pushback From Community Board

Posted on: April 4, 2024, 08:53h. 

Last updated on: April 4, 2024, 04:52h.

Related Companies is facing pushback for its latest expansion plan of Hudson Yards that includes significantly fewer residential units than originally designed.

Wynn New York City Hudson Yards Related Companies
Renderings of Hudson Yards West, a proposed $12 billion development that would include a Wynn Resorts casino should the company gain one of the three gaming licenses allocated for downstate New York. Some community members believe the towering structures involved in the complex would impede views from the High Line. (Image: Related Companies)

Related last month unveiled a refreshed scope of the $12 billion project called Hudson Yards West. The development spans 13 acres between West 30th and 33rd streets between 11th and 12th avenues.

The March renderings showed duel 80-story skyscrapers surrounded by several other smaller towers and a 5.6-acre park providing access to the Javits Center. About half of the $12 billion investment would go toward the construction of an integrated resort casino called Wynn New York City should Wynn Resorts secure a casino license from the New York Gaming Facility Location Board.

One of the skyscrapers would house the Wynn casino and its 1,750 hotel guestrooms, plus typical integrated resort amenities like numerous restaurants and bars, retail shopping, entertainment space, convention and meeting facilities, a spa and pool, and wellness offerings.

The other buildings would house a 750-seat public school, a daycare, and a community center. More than 1,500 private residencies, including 324 affordable subsidized housing units, are also included in the blueprint.  

Community Contention 

Related Companies’ latest Hudson Yards West scope has garnered pushback from Manhattan Community Board 4.

The board represents the West Side neighborhoods of Chelsea, Clinton, and Hell’s Kitchen, and is one of 12 community boards in Manhattan. Each community board consists of 50 volunteers who function in an advisory role to the city government.

CB4 members say the Related plan is a significant change from the Hudson Yards West project it embraced in 2009 when the real estate firm owned by billionaire Stephen Ross proposed building the nearly 30-acre complex above the storage yard for the Long Island Rail Road.

Why should communities around the City of New York work with the real estate industry and the city government to respond and agree to zoning changes with detailed site plans and points of agreement when such plans and agreements can be discarded at later date?” a statement from CB4 asked. The board added that it “cannot support the proposed project’s drastic shift from residential to commercial use designed around a casino.”

Hudson Yards West in 2009 pitched more than 5,700 residential units.

“Friends of the High Line,” a nonprofit that works with the NYC Parks Department in overseeing aspects of the High Line public park space, also questioned the Hudson Yards West overhaul. The community organization says the several buildings and two skyscrapers would “decimate the park’s access to light and air, key sightlines into the city, and unnecessarily encroach and overwhelm the park’s space.” 

“This is not an insignificant piece of the public park,” said Friends of the High Line Executive Director Alan van Capelle. “It’s 20% of it. They are proposing the same square footage but packed into three mega towers with ginormous podiums that swallow that entire area and close it off from the rest of Manhattan.”

Project Discussions 

In responding to the Community Board’s statement, representatives with Related said the company looks forward to continuing the Hudson Yards West conversation with community members.

We look forward to continuing to engage with stakeholders across the local community as part of the city land-use process for the undeveloped rail yards,” a Related release read. “The new plan for the Western Yards has evolved to generate more direct jobs and maximum revenue and benefits to the city and state without creating more density. While maintaining previous commitments, including affordable housing and a school, the proposal improves the connectivity of Manhattan’s West Side with 5.6 acres of contiguous, open green space.”

Related forecasts that the $12 billion scheme would create 35K construction jobs. The Wynn component would need about 5,000 permanent workers, the casino company said.