Recently, Governor Cuomo announced that he would not be moving forward with his plan to build the largest convention center in the world at Aqueduct Racetrack after discussions broke down with Genting, the owner of Resorts World; this news is unsettling as this project would have been a major boost to our communityís economy and we hope the governor will reconsider this decision.
In his State of the State address earlier this year the Governor proposed the largest convention center in the world to be built at Aqueduct by Genting. He laid out very ardent plans for the development that was meant to continue to move Queens in the right direction. It had the possibility to create thousands of local jobs and spur economic development throughout the entire borough. In addition, it would have created new infrastructure opportunities and funding potential for much needed transportation upgrades; such as increased express bus service, ferry service and possible rehabilitation of the Rockaway Beach Railroad Line.
This was an ambitious plan that had to be undertaken responsibly and appropriately with real community involvement and participation. With Genting taking the lead on the project, we knew we had a developer with the expertise to make the convention center and casino a success as well as one that would pay special attention to the surrounding community.
Southern Queens and Rockaway neighborhoods are defying New York City trends and are currently in the midst of a huge population and construction boom. The economy is on its way up, and people are optimistic for the future of local businesses in the community. Expanding Resorts World at Aqueduct into a large-scale convention center would be the next logical step for our continued growth and having a company with experience in the community would be welcomed news.
Since the day it opened, Resorts World has exceeded every expectation in their operation of the racino at Aqueduct. They have served as an eager and effective community partner, delivering on their promise of local jobs and serving as an economic engine for the region. They worked hand-in-hand with elected leaders and the community to ensure seamless transition and development at the Aqueduct facility and they meet regularly with the NYPD and the community board, in an effort to address any neighborhood concerns, responding quickly when any issues arise.
Genting has been a strong community partner for several years now, and will continue to be, if given the opportunity to build the convention center. Additionally, if the convention center was built at Aqueduct, it would benefit our community to move forward and make the nearby Resorts World a full casino. Hopefully we can continue this partnership to bring even more progress and development to our community.
We will do everything we can to make sure Queens has more opportunities to create and develop these vital projects. The governorís recent decision to throw out the convention center proposal threatens the current and potential progress we have made in making Queens a better place to live, work and vacation. It is our hope that the governor reconsiders his proposal and chooses to continue investing in our community.