Wednesday, November 10, 2010

After Years in Limbo Aqueduct Project a Reality by Stephen Geffon - Leader-Observer -

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Governor David Paterson and Genting Chairman K.T. Lim were joined last Thursday by elected officials at Aqueduct Racetrack in South Ozone Park to officially break ground on the Resorts World New York casino.

“With today’s groundbreaking, New York continues its confident march out of recession and back to prosperity and job growth," said Paterson.

Tutor Perini, the project’s general contractor, is in the midst of hiring and actual work is scheduled to begin in the next couple of weeks.

“This is one of the proudest days in the history of the Genting organization,” said Lim. “Working alongside our neighbors in the South Queens community, we will deliver a world class tourism and entertainment facility that all New Yorkers can be proud of.”

Genting spokesperson Stefan Friedman said that just months after being awarded the contract, the firm has already started ramping up its hiring for the project’s more than 1,300 construction jobs and will soon announce job fairs for the 800 permanent jobs that will be created at Resorts World New York.

Genting won the rights to develop Resorts World New York with a bid that included a $380 million, one-time payment. Friedman said the company predicts that the state will receive at least $300 million annually in revenue generated from the casino.

The New York Racing Association (NYRA) will receive seven percent of the racino's revenues.

“This long-awaited project couldn’t come soon enough for the people of Queens, as it will create exactly the right kind of jobs – good-paying, stable and local - that are in such high demand throughout this neighborhood,” said State Senator Joseph Addabbo.

According to Friedman within six months, a significant portion of the casino's 4,525 Video Lottery Terminals will be operational. Six months later, all of the VLTs will be up and running and all interior work will be complete. In just 18 months, all interior and exterior renovations – including the building of an enclosed skybridge from the A train to the resort's entrance – will also be finished.

“Genting’s Aqueduct restoration project will not only vastly improve one of Queens’ most iconic institutions, but will also have an unprecedented impact on the economic growth of our neighborhoods,” said Community Board 10 Chair Betty Braton.