Fireman Wants To Build A $4.6BN Casino in New JerseySeptember 19, 2016 10:38 am
If someone suggested building a $4.6 billion casino in New Jersey, that person may rightly attract a few quizzical looks, especially considering the declining condition of the state’s casino industry, as well as the fate of its $2.4 billion white elephant, Revel. When it’s explained that the planned location for the casino would be away from the saturated market of Atlantic City, and instead be in North Jersey, then the suggestion suddenly appears to make a lot more sense.
The ambitious proposal is the brainchild of Paul Fireman, a former CEO of Reebok International who has an estimated personal wealth of $1.03 billion. In order to realize his dream, New Jersey voters still have to approve a casino expansion in the state outside of Atlantic City, and last week, Fireman helped finance a campaign to drum up support for the proposal via an ad campaign entitled “Our Turn NJ”.
Paul Fireman already owns the Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City, and if he manages to get his way would then construct his new casino to the south of Liberty State Park. Amongst the features Fireman is planning in order to turn the resort into a star attraction is the world’s biggest Ferris Wheel, a 107,500-seated motorsports stadium, and a casino offering 6,000 slots and 500 table games.
One important supporter Fireman has aready got on his side is Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop , who commenting on the possible project, stated:
“You’ve got to think big. The opportunity to have a world-class facility on the waterfront is significant from a job-creation standpoint, for tax relief, and for tourism. Paul Fireman is capable of executing something like this.”
Mayor Steven Fulop also expressed his opinion that the Liberty Rising project had the potential to draw in a lot of customers from the New York market, and subsequently become the country’s highest-grossing casino. Others, however, are less convinced, such as Jonathan Miller from the appraisal firm, Miller Samuel. Specializing in the New York City metro area, Miller says the potential of the area is not immediately apparent, and as he explains:
“Not to criticize Jersey City, but it’s tough to create a luxury residential product outside of a hub like Manhattan. The trophy market isn’t simply about building something big and sticking it somewhere. I don’t understand this location, even if the views are spectacular. It’s align with things that don’t go together with high-end apartments, like motor cross.”