Joe Sitt’s Thor releases new renderings of $3B Brooklyn casino 

As casino applicants jockey for position, developer unveils Coney Island proposal

Thor Equities’ Joseph Sitt; rendering of $3 billion Coney Island proposal (Getty, Thor Equities, sunshinesachs)
Thor Equities’ Joseph Sitt; rendering of $3 billion Coney Island proposal (Getty, Thor Equities, sunshinesachs)

Joseph Sitt’s firm released updated renderings of his casino project in Brooklyn, as the state prepares to award a trio of downstate gaming licenses.

Thor Equities, Saratoga Casino Holdings, the Chickasaw Nation and Legends detailed its plans for a Coney Island casino this week, the Commercial Observer reported. The $3 billion development is now known to encompass much more than a gambling venue.

Plans for “The Coney” include a 500-key hotel, 2,500-seat concert venue, 70,000 square feet of retail and 90,000 square feet of event and meeting space. The development would rise on Thor-owned land stretching from Stillwell Avenue to West 12th Street and from Surf Avenue to Wonder Wheel Way.

Rendering of $3 billion Coney Island proposal (sunshinesachs)
Rendering of $3 billion Coney Island proposal (sunshinesachs)
Rendering of $3 billion Coney Island proposal (sunshinesachs)

It’s unclear if the unusual elements of the original proposal, including an indoor water park and a roller coaster, remain on the table.

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Thor launched its bid in November 2022 to secure one of the state’s gaming licenses. In an interview from Abu Dhabi, where he was attending the Formula One Grand Prix, Sitt told the New York Times that his bid was an “underdog.”

The state recently extended the timeline for casino proposals, indicating applications are not due until 2025. That gives bidders time to secure city and state approvals outside the casino competition.

Two so-called racinos — Genting’s Resorts World at Aqueduct and MGM’s Empire City in Yonkers — are viewed as prohibitive favorites for two of the licenses, leaving a fierce competition for the third. Real estate players including Related Companies, SL Green, Steve Cohen and Stefan Soloviev are attempting to secure a license in or around New York City.

Many of those jockeying for that last gaming license haven’t publicly acknowledged alternative ideas for their sites, so as not to give the state a rationale to award it to someone else.

Holden Walter-Warner

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Illustration of Joseph Sitt (Illustration by The Real Deal; Getty; Thor)
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