Vornado Realty Trust or VNO, one of the biggest REITs (real estate investment trusts), isn’t likely to chase a NYC casino license.
CEO and Chairman Steve Roth spoke about the event yesterday on the conference call for the third-quarter earnings of REIT. His remarks came after almost ten months passed since reports came up that Vornado can be mulling a spot near Penn Station and Madison Square Garden as a potential spot for a casino hotel.
When Steve Sakwa, Evercore ISI analyst, asked Roth a question related to the topic, he said, “It’s highly likely that we will not pursue the casino license.”
Vornado is already established as one of the biggest names in the commercial real estate industry. Currently, they can easily evaluate the potential location for a casino hotel – this spot is occupied at the moment by Hotel Pennsylvania.
Recently, that hotel was demolished as a part of a huge redevelopment for the entire Penn Station area. It is highly possible that the REIT will focus its basic efforts on simply leasing out that particular space for commercial purposes.
Vornado First Big Name to Depart New York Casino Race
Till date, Vornado is the first amongst all big names that had previously declared a budding interest in bidding for a casino permit in the NYC area to bow out of the race – it’s an ultra-competitive race that is shaping up to be time-consuming and costly.
Roth did not explain why Vornado is about to throw in the towel on a NYC casino bid. However, it is obvious that the present macroeconomic environment is not really conducive to from-the-ground-up, commercial, and large real estate projects. High interest rates come with several commercial real estate creditors and borrowers balking at the talk of new projects.
In addition to this, Vornado has not announced any partnership for this particular effort, while rumors had suggested previously that the REIT could easily team up with Neil Gary Bluhm, a billionaire financier, who also happens to be a partner in the Midwest Gaming & Entertainment. Bluhm is also responsible for co-founding Rush Street Gaming, based in Illinois.
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