Saks Fifth Avenue proposes casino atop flagship store in Midtown
The owner of one of the world’s most iconic department stores wants to open a casino at its iconic New York City flagship. Hudson’s Bay Company, the owner of the Saks Fifth Avenue, announced last week it would pursue a gaming license to convert the top three floors of its store at 611 Fifth Avenue into a casino, as first reported by the New York Times.
The proposed casino would start on the 12-story building’s ninth floor, currently home to a mix of discounted women’s dresses, lingerie, children’s books, and holiday decorations. As the Times reported, the store’s 10th floor is currently being used for SaksWork, a co-working space. A separate red-carpet-lined entrance would be created for the new casino.
Last April, the New York State legislature approved licenses for three casinos in the New York City area. Caesars Entertainment and developer SL Green in October announced their bid to open a Jay-Z-backed Caesars Palace casino in the heart of Times Square at 1515 Broadway.
Other parties vying for a license include Steve Cohen, the owner of the Mets, and Related Companies, a prominent developer who has teamed up with Wynn Resorts. Cohen has expressed interest in pursuing a license to build a casino within the vacant 50 acres of public land adjacent to Citi Field.
Thor Equities has also announced they would be pursuing a gaming license to open a casino on Coney Island, and Las Vegas Sands announced plans to seek a license or a casino at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Long Island.
Compared to the other casino proposals, converting the top three floors of Saks would require the least amount of work and could be completed in under a year, according to the Times. Other proposals, like the grand Caesars Palace casino, which calls for a hotel, wellness center, theater space for The Lion King, and several dining options, would likely take longer to complete.
It will likely be over a year until any proposed casino receives a license from the state.