Saks Fifth Avenue to make bid for casino at flagship store

Top three floors at 611 5th Avenue would be converted into gaming operation

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Ninth floor: women’s dresses, lingerie, holiday decorations … blackjack?

The owner of Saks Fifth Avenue department stores announced Friday it is bidding to turn the top three floors of its Midtown Manhattan flagship location at 611 5th Avenue into a casino, the New York Times reported.

Hudson’s Bay Company, Saks’ owner, is the latest in a number of prospective casino operators — including New York Mets owner Steve Cohen, Las Vegas Sands, Related Companies, and a group that includes SL Green Realty, Caesars and Jay-Z — vying for three gambling licenses in the New York City region.

The Saks project, starting on the store’s ninth floor, would span 200,000 square feet, with a lobby and separate casino entrance, the Times reported.

Renderings give the vibe of a ‘60s spy film, according to the Times.

The ninth floor currently houses women’s apparel, holiday decorations and children’s books, while the 10th is used as Saks’ flexible office space operation.

The conversion of the space into a casino would take less than a year, the Times reported, citing a company official. Other, more ambitious, proposals would take significantly more time to complete.

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There are issues with the Saks proposal, including its location, which is across the street from the iconic St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

The neighborhood group Community Board 5, which covers the area that includes the Saks building, also said it’s opposed to the casino due to concerns over the impact on other local businesses.

The field of bidders vying for a casino in Manhattan includes the SL Green group, which is proposing an eight-floor casino, operated by Caesars, at 1515 Broadway in Times Square.

Related Companies’ casino proposal for the western portion of its $25 billion project on the west side of Manhattan, centers around a 1,500-room resort. Related is partnering with Wynn Resorts on the casino bid.

Cohen, meanwhile, is pursuing a casino near Citi Field in Queens as part of a larger development project.

The Sands entered into an agreement to purchase the long-term lease of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum site in Uniondale on Long Island.

— Ted Glanzer