Plans for a Citi Field casino, which would also likely involve an associated entertainment complex, hit a snag when a key lawmaker said she would not introduce legislation to allow development to move forward.
Sen. Jessica Ramos, who represents the Willets Point area and Citi Field, home of the New York Mets, says she will not introduce legislation allowing the reclassification of parkland surrounding the ballpark for a commercial use. Her stance comes after several community meetings designed to gauge community attitudes toward the Citi Field casino development. From the New York Post:
“I had a very productive town hall on Friday which is going to be the first of many conversations I have with my neighbors,” Ramos said. “My neighbors and I are not currently in a place where it would be appropriate to introduce parkland alienation legislation.”
The lots and other property around Citi Field in Willets Point are deemed parkland — designated as part of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park back in 1939….
The legislative session ends in June. The state casino siting commission has yet to issue any of the three downstate casino licenses.
After buying the Mets, Cohen began exploring a Citi Field casino anchoring a new entertainment district on the ballpark parking lots. The state had been moving forward with plans to award three casino licenses, but those plans have stalled for now. Meanwhile, there is development planned at the larger Citi Field site, as NYCFC and Queens Development Group have pitched a plan for a 25,000-seat MLS stadium–the first soccer-specific stadium planned for New York City–as well as 40,000 square feet of public open space, a 650-seat school, a 250-key hotel, and ground-floor retail shops.
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