Cuomo scours city for convention center plan, leaving Queens disappointed

June 05, 2012 08:30AM

New York is beginning to consider other sites for a casino and convention center, the Associated Press reported, and that’s leaving the Ozone Park community, once excited by the prospects of a $4 billion investment in their neighborhood, feeling shafted, according to the New York Times. Now that the deal with Genting to develop a convention center and casino near Aqueduct has fallen through, Governor Andrew Cuomo is eyeing sites in Manhattan and near the Belmont race track for the development.

But before a location is finalized, Cuomo and potential developers want clarity on the state’s gambling laws. Polls have shown that New Yorkers are increasingly willing to accept Las Vegas-style casinos in the state, but the process for changing the law could last more than a year. While casinos are being considered in the Catskills and Western New York, city sites are being looked at for a convention center on top of a gambling center.

All this comes as another disappointment to Queens residents, especially those in Ozone Park. The area has been hit hard by the recession, as evidenced by the number of shuttered storefronts that line its main thoroughfare, Rockaway Boulevard. Residents had hoped that the jobs, development and tourism promised under the original plan would help revive the area.

“Queens is being shafted all the time,” said City Council member Karen Koslowitz. “Other boroughs are getting things. They are promised and it happens.” [AP via Crain’s] and [NYT]