NEW YORK - New York Mets owner Steve Cohen has proposed building a $8B casino next to Citi Field, but at a town hall on Monday, people living nearby the proposed site spoke out at a town hall to oppose the project over crime fears.
Cohen is partnering with Hard Rock and wants to transform a 50-acre parking lot into an entertainment complex including a casino, hotel, music hall, mall, food court, affordable housing, and a park.
The project is also supported by construction workers, who say that not only will it create jobs in that field, but that it will benefit other New Yorkers as well.
It's estimated the project will create over 15,000 jobs.
"This is going to produce long-term jobs for the people who live in Corona, East Elmhurst, for the people that are going to want to work in these hotels, work in the casinos," said Dave Sands, with Local 3 Electricians Union.
State Senator Jessica Ramos of Queens is holding several town halls before she decides if she will support the project. However, one community organization is accusing the Senator of already siding with the owner of the Mets.
"We are calling on Senator Ramos to flatly oppose a casino being brought to our community," said Joseph Jung, with Flushing Anti-Displacement Alliance.
"I have not made a decision yet," Ramos said in response. "There's going to be another town hall, so the discussion will continue. I am in no rush."
The project is privately funded and will require multiple regulatory and political approvals. If it clears those hurdles, construction will not begin for several years.