Senator Ramos announces intentions to disapprove Cohen’s casino bid

May 28, 2024
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Cohen's project, Metropolitan Park, proposed to turn 50 acres of Citi Field's parking lot into a casino and resort.

In a statement released on May 28, New York Senator Jessica Ramos announced her intentions to disapprove any projects planning to build a casino in the Corona, NY area. Originally, billionaire Steve Cohen, owner of the New York Mets baseball team, planned to build his Metropolitan Park project outside the Mets’ home ballpark, Citi Field. 

Metropolitan Park would call for 50 acres of Citi Field's parking lot to be transformed into a casino and resort, with a Hard Rock Hotel, restaurants, concert venue, manicured green space and more. 

The 50 acres of parking lot is on state-owned parkland, however, a legacy from when the World's Fair occurred in the area. In order to build his casino, Cohen would first have to change the status of the land through legislation, which means obtaining the approval of Senator Ramos.

In her statement, Senator Ramos said “I will not introduce legislation to alienate parkland in Corona for the purposes of a casino. Whether people rallied for or against Metropolitan Park, I heard the same dreams for Corona. 

“We want investment and opportunity, we are desperate for green space and recreation for the whole family. We disagree on the premise that we have to accept a casino in our backyard as the trade-off. I resent the conditions and the generations of neglect that have made many of us so desperate that we would be willing to settle.”

Senator Ramos proposed an alternative alienation bill that would allow for Cohen to build a hotel and convention center along with doubling the intended green space, but any plans of a casino being involved were scrapped. 

“Mr. Cohen and his team have often declared their love for our community and said they recognize our potential. Finding a path forward would be a good way to show it,” Senator Ramos said to conclude the statement. 

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