Silverstein Properties is going all in on a bid to win a coveted New York City gambling license, with plans to develop a mixed-use hotel, casino and residential mega-complex on 11th Avenue in Hell’s Kitchen. 

The Avenir Crown Night
The Avenir crown at night — the buildings will be connected with a public “sky bridge”. Photo: Silverstein Properties.

The real estate giant — known for developing and managing neighborhood residences River Place and Silver Towers — announced their proposal for a 46-floor, 1.8-million-square foot project at W41st Street and 11th Avenue, previously the site of a Mercedes Benz dealership, in a press release today. Tentatively named the Avenir and created in partnership with Greenwood Entertainment and Entertainment Affiliates and designed by architects Steelman Partners and CetraRuddy, the two-tower complex, connected by a public “sky bridge” will include 1,000 luxury hotel rooms, a 1,000-seat performance venue, at least 100 units of below-market housing and an eight-story, 600,000-square foot gambling and entertainment center that features 12-full service restaurants and a gallery showcasing local artists.

“Our City and State face a confluence of historic challenges right now,” said Chairman of Silverstein Properties Larry Silverstein in a release. “These include a housing crisis, public safety challenges, budget shortfalls and a commercial real estate market in transition. We need to work with State and local leaders to do everything we can to make New York the best place to live, work and visit. We’ve done it before, and I am confident we can do it again. I’ve always said you should never bet against New York; this City and State will come back bigger and better than ever before.” 

Silverstein Casino Site
The proposed site (center) was formerly a Mercedes dealership — and is nestled between the Lincoln Tunnel, Javits Center and other Silverstein developments, Silver Towers and River Place. Photo: Phil O’Brien

Silverstein and fellow executives say the Avenir, which would sit adjacent to the Javits Convention Center, would be a much-needed economic boon to the area, creating 4,000 union construction jobs, 5,000 permanent union jobs and “billions” of dollars in revenue for the city. Silverstein representatives added that the hotel’s performance venue would be “available for use by local community and school groups along with world-class concerts in a stunning, intimate setting.” The release added that “the hall will be designed to complement – not compete with – Broadway theaters.”

“We are excited to join with Silverstein Properties to create a gaming, leisure and entertainment destination that will reflect the unique character and spirit of New York City and attract visitors from all over the globe,” added Eric Hausler, Chief Executive Officer of Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment. “We are a company with deep roots in our communities. We look forward to working with the Hell’s Kitchen and Hudson Yards communities’ elected, civic, and labor leaders to create something that serves the neighborhood and its residents.”

The real estate company purchased the property in 2015 for $100 million and previously proposed creating a mixed-use condo complex and retail towers at the site. Silverstein now joins an already competitive race of developers and casino companies vying for the state’s three New York City gambling licenses, including plans from Hudson Yards developer Related and Wynn Resorts to build a 3-million square foot casino at the Western Rail Yards, as well as a pitch from SL Green and Caesars Entertainment to install a casino in their 54-floor office building at 1515  Broadway.

According to reports from Crain’s, Related and SL Green have invested at least $176,000 and $161,000 respectively in lobbying efforts, hoping to sway Midtown’s Community Board 4 and local legislators from the area’s six-person Community Advisory Committee, comprising Governor Kathy Hochul, Mayor Eric Adams, Senator Brad Hoylman-Sigal, City Council Member Erik Bottcher, Assembly Member Tony Simone and Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine.  Senator Hoylman-Sigal and CouncIl Member Bottcher were, according to the New York Times, in attendance at a meeting on Wednesday at Silverstein’s 7 World Trade Center HQ to be briefed on the plan. W42ST has reached out to Bottcher, Hoylman-Sigal, Simone, Levine and the Manhattan Community Board 4 for comment on the proposal — a spokesperson from Council Member Bottcher’s told W42ST that “All of these proposals are long shot bids that would face an uphill battle to get approved. I look forward to a public process in which all community members are given the opportunity to see the proposals for themselves and make their voices heard.”

Said Assembly Member Simone: “I have long been against the concept of a casino in Manhattan and I approach each of the now three proposals in our district skeptically. For any casino to get through the Community Advisory Committee, they will have to demonstrate strong community support, and based on what I have heard from constituents thus far, any proposal will have a large hill to climb.”

Several of the advisory committee members have previously expressed skepticism about an influx of casinos in Midtown, citing resistance from their constituents over potentially overwhelming congestion and competition for independently owned local businesses. In Times Square, The Broadway League, in partnership with the Hell’s Kitchen Neighborhood Association, Hell’s Kitchen Block Association, W47/48th Street Block Association, Manhattan Plaza Tenants Association and CHEKPEDS pedestrian safety group, among others, have created a website entitled “No Times Square Casino” to petition against Midtown gambling venues. Larry Silverstein has publicly expressed his aversion to the industry, telling media outlets: “I don’t go to racetracks — I don’t go to the casinos. I don’t do any of that, but I enjoy buying real estate.” Silverstein told the New York Times that despite his misgivings about gambling, “My personal predilections are subordinated to the needs of the community at large.” 

For now, the real estate giant will have to wait to see if they win the jackpot — licenses are not expected to be granted until 2024. 

Join the Conversation


  1. So gambling, more traffic for the already over congested streets leading to the Lincoln tunnel and hotel rooms which will probably wind up housing the homeless or migrant families, (not saying they don’t require housing and assistance)

  2. The whole area will be gridlock and honking. The tunnel. The casino. Port Authority. Times Square. Javits Center. What a clusterfuck. What a colossally terrible idea.

  3. Yes it would screw NYC. But be great for the city. NYC be liked no other city Lou it will make my friend Greg rich

  4. Terrible idea.
    We live a block from there.. the additional noise & traffic will destroy any neighborhood energy em we have left!

  5. Presently, there is no parking and non-stop congestion with traffic noise off the charts. Plus, this will take away revenue from the small business owners who operate restaurants and stores in our neighborhood. The whole point of casinos is to keep customers IN so they don’t spend their money elsewhere. These builders/developers ignore or dismiss the people who live here as if we don’t matter. A colossally bad idea.

  6. This will be awful.
    More years of noise from construction.
    More gridlock around the Lincoln tunnel. More unsavory people flooding into the area to gamble. More clogged sidewalks, more people lying drunk and sick on our sidewalks.
    If you want to make something to attract folks to 11th and 41st, how about a park! Something like Little Island. But STILL! That area is too cluttered with traffic to the tunnel! You cannot even safely walk there! Ugh. Why not make a green space! For people and dogs! If you want to benefit the community….

  7. Really bad idea. There’s enough crime in this neighborhood. This would elevate it!
    These developers don’t care about us who live and work here. It’s all about the almighty dollar bill!

  8. I lived on 46th (9/10) during the bad years. If this happens, the area will truly live up to its name….Hell’s Kitchen. It now takes about an hour to leave through the LT.

    1. The so-called bad years were actually much better than what this neighborhood has turned into. One tower after another and elected officials who would rather cater to developers than what was a nice community.

  9. Silverstein has already had a negative impact on Hell’s Kitchen and the west side. People live here! My favorite quote: “My personal predilections are subordinated to the needs of the community at large.” Is he telling us that we NEED a casino? Shows he has no respect for our intelligence or our needs. Our elected reps are going to be under great pressure. We need to let them know how we feel.

  10. Silverstein’s comments remind of the Seinfeld scene, where George tells Jerry
    “Jerry, just remember. It’s not a lie… if you believe it”. Except no one could be deluded enough to actually believe that injecting a massive gambling presence and all the associated ills, into one of the few real communities in NYC, could be ‘whats best for the community’. I say call Larry’s bluff: Give him the license, on the condition that he and his employees are required to live in Hell’s Kitchen, within a block or so of the casino, for the next 10 years. They’re still billing 1 Riverplace as ‘luxury hotel living in NYC’, – maybe they could live there, and actually fix the myriad issues listed here :

  11. This is insane. There is no way we can handle more congestion by cars and people. How about REAL affordable housing and a green area? How about thinking about the residents Instead of revenue? Ugh. Used to be a great neighborhood, with every hotel and million dollar apartment you destroy our community.

    1. Real affordable housing? No, you get Erik Bottcher, Brad Hoylman and Community Board 4 versions of fake affordable housing. But as long as people keep electing them or their clones, nothing will change.

  12. Look at that aerial photo of the neighborhood. Does it look like we need MORE of that crap? “…..the hotel’s performance venue would be “available for use by local community and school groups along with world-class concerts in a stunning, intimate setting.” The release added that “the hall will be designed to complement – not compete with – Broadway theaters.” That’s bullshit!!

  13. Yeah…right, Casinos will bring back NYC and be great for the city. Just like they were for Atlantic City and Detroit. Not! Casinos only bring misery and pain except to the owners. Remember, Casinos are built with people’s losses not winnings. This is such a con, I can hardly believe the City would be taken in so easy…then again. Casinos will only hasten NYC’s downfall not help. Kevin B

  14. So Silverstein doesn’t like gambling, the people who live here don’t want gambling, but somehow he thinks the community needs gambling. I’m not sure of the sense in this.

    In addition, just go look at all the good casino’s have done for Atlantic City. Which isn’t much.

  15. I don’t get it

    The rail yards were first going to be an Olympic stadium and people complained. The MSG folks pitched a bunch of high-rises instead to all of us to avoid having another stadium as competition. Olympic bid lost, highrises got built.

    Now people complain about the “neighborhood” that they said they wanted instead of a stadium. Complaining about what was nothing but tracks previously. Good grief.

    Javits is having problems competing. There was a plan to build a huge convention center in Queens. People said fix javits instead.

    Here is a plan that will help to fix javits. And people complain about… Tunnel traffic? What? Seriously? Just give us congestion pricing and they can park in New Jersey and take the train across, and New Jersey can get all that parking revenue and gasoline taxes.

    Meanwhile, who is the Broadway League in cahoots with to try and kill the Times Square casino? Is it Vegas themselves? Because last I checked people go to Vegas to go to the casinos and restaurants and shows. Somebody is worried about competition, and it’s not the shows that would now be selling excess tickets to the local casinos for the casinos to then comp their “whales” with… Considering the area on 8th Ave directly north of 42nd Street is similar to the 7th layer of hell in terms of crime and despair, who in the world would be against this?!

    Something is fishy.

  16. I am currently living in a Larry Silverstein property, with a poor door. I’ve been here for 14 years and we (the TA) have been fighting for many rights for a long time. We’ve had some wins, like…allowing us to use the fitness center and attend resident events.

    Our most current fight is for desperately needed upgrades; Silverstein skimped out on the inclusionary housing units when they were originally built and now things are simply due for replacement.

    LARRY SILVERSTEIN is claiming he can’t afford to invest in our homes because we don’t pay market rate rent, yet he has received (and continues to) millions of dollars in tax breaks for our homes.

    It’s hard to believe that he can’t invest in what he currently owns but wants to be supported to build a casino right across the street from us!!!

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