SL Green Aqueduct Bid Wins Union Support

Several of New York’s major labor unions have endorsed SL Green Realty Corp.’s proposal to revitalize the Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens (pictured). Unions supporting SL Green’s bid include: • The Building & Construction Trades Council of Greater New York • The New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council • Local 32BJ of the Service Employees International Union • Local Union No. 3 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers • The International Union of Operating Engineers, Local Union Nos. 30 and 94• The Sheet Metal Workers International Association, Local No. 28, Metropolitan New York and Long Island. SL Green’s plan would create approximately 600 full-time union construction jobs and 575 full-time union operations jobs in the initial phase, and hundreds more jobs are anticipated for spin-off developments As reported by CPN on April 28, SL Green’s proposed redevelopment plan for Aqueduct, currently before state leaders, includes a gaming floor and a 4-Diamond Hard Rock hotel with restaurants, a spa and fitness center, a pool and displays of Hard Rock’s most valuable music memorabilia. The complex (pictured) would also include high-end retail and outlet shops plus a Hard Rock live entertainment venue. According to reporting by Tom Precious on Bloodhorse.com, the state legislature is sitting on several issues concerning the New York Racing Authority, including action on the organization’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, steroid testing, as well as which of three entities will run the long-stalled casino. The bidders are Australian-based Capital Play and its partner Mohegan Sun, which is run by a Connecticut Indian tribe; SL Green Realty and Hard Rock Entertainment, which is owned by the Seminole Indian tribe in Florida; and Buffalo-based Delaware North Cos., which runs other racetrack VLT casinos in the state. When reached by CPN today, an SL Green spokesperson said, “The governor and the leaders of the state legislature are in the midst of reviewing the proposals. We are confident that our vision for Aqueduct provides the best short and long term opportunities for the state and the community.” SL Green plans more than $400 million in capital improvements at Aqueduct during the initial phase and more than $2 billion over the life of the project. SL Green’s proposal also includes a proprietary $28.5 million upstate equine economic development program to support and encourage growth in New York’s horse racing industry.