New renderings depict a Silverstein Properties–proposed Manhattan casino designed by CetraRuddy and Steelman Partners

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New renderings depict a Silverstein Properties–proposed Manhattan casino designed by CetraRuddy and Steelman Partners

The towers' heavy glass treatment and almost golden-colored facade material would stand out on the edge of Hell's Kitchen. (Courtesy Silverstein Properties)

CetraRuddy and entertainment architecture firm Steelman Partners have released renderings for a proposed casino on 41st Street and 11th Avenue in Manhattan. Silverstein Properties owner Larry Silverstein is driving the bid for one of New York City’s three casino licenses, which now has at least ten entries in its field. The Avenir, as it would be called, would host 1.8 million square feet on the 92,000-square-foot site. Silverstein Properties is partnering with Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment, who owns Pennsylvania’s Parx Casinos.

Just north of the Javits Center, The Avenir would be formed by two 46-story towers ascending from a singular podium. A publicly-accessible sky bridge would link the towers at the 45th floor, just below their crowns, creating another Instagram-worthy “experience” location in Manhattan. The eight-story podium would hold 600,000 square feet of entertainment and restaurant space, with the the complex in its entirety holding 1,000 luxury hotel rooms, 100 units of permanent affordable housing (with no additional market rate units), and a 1,000-seat performance space.  

The existing proposed project site (Courtesy Silverstein Properties)

Silverstein already owns the site, and claims that the project is “shovel ready upon approval,” and could move faster than other projects as construction on the vacant site would not displace existing residents or businesses.  

In a statement, Silverstein said that “Our City and State face a confluence of historic challenges right now… These include a housing crisis, public safety challenges, budget shortfalls, and a commercial real estate market in transition. We need to work with State and local leaders to do everything we can to make New York the best place to live, work, and visit. We’ve done it before, and I am confident we can do it again. I’ve always said you should never bet against New York; This City and State will come back bigger and better than ever before.” While this comes amid larger, deep concerns about the city’s commercial real estate market.

The proposed complex on the 11th Avenue side (Courtesy Silverstein Properties)
The eight story podium will host gaming and entertainment spaces in addition to restaurants. (Courtesy Silverstein Properties)

Silverstein’s pitch, in addition to Parx’s profitability in their current holdings, is formed around the project bringing estimated 4,000 union construction jobs and 5,500 permanent union jobs and adding tax revenue to the state at a time when commercial tax revenue streams have faltered since the onset of the pandemic. Alongside the affordable housing component, for which Silverstein cites local community board demands for more affordable housing within Manhattan District 4, Silverstein feels confident in the project’s success.

Architecturally, the skybridge is set to stand out as unique among Manhattan’s recent skyscrapers, especially at 630 feet above ground. Renderings also show a WPA-esque relief sculpture behind a pristine, all-glass ground floor lobby. The rest of the podium is wrapped by an exoskeleton around large-spanning glass, bringing a surprising amount of daylight into gaming spaces. The Avenir is more similar to skyscrapers hosting other programmatic elements than the underground gambling room or Las Vegas casino. The towers lean into their verticality, with an immensely high window-wall ratio and a vertical piping pattern defining the building in nighttime renderings.

The Avenir will run fully on electricity, using no fossil fuel energy on-site.

The 45th floor skybridge will be publicly accessible. (Courtesy Silverstein Properties)

CetraRuddy founding principal Nancy J. Ruddy said that the firm’s core beliefs begin with the idea that “Architecture Is Home.” Adding in a statement that, the firm is “always seeking out the story behind each building site, its deep historical context, and fresh opportunities to craft innovative solutions and lead clients on their journeys toward building a new legacy.”