Station Square slots casino details unveiled
By Bill Toland,
Monday, January 23, 2006
Harrah’s and Forest City Enterprises unveiled their Station Square casino plans today, proposing a $512 million casino, more than 1,200 condominium units and several hundred new hotel rooms, a sweeping facelift of what is already considered Pittsburgh’s top tourist destination.
In all, the companies are proposing $1 billion in new development. Construction could begin immediately after the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board awards the casino licenses, said Jan Jones, a senior vice president with Harrah’s and former mayor of Las Vegas. Harrah’s and Forest City are in competition with three other outfits, all of which are seeking the lone license available for a casino to be built within Pittsburgh’s city limits. Harrah’s and Forest City are considered one of two frontrunners, the other being the Isle of Capri, a riverboat casino company that has partnered with the Pittsburgh Penguins and pledged to build a new hockey venue to replace Mellon Arena.
Forest City has made no such pledge. The main community investment component of the Forest City plan is a $25 million endowment for the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation and a $1 million community investment fund that would be headed by former Steelers running back Franco Harris.
The Harrah’s casino complex, with 400,000 square feet of floor space, is roughly the size of seven football fields and is the largest of the casinos so far proposed for the City of Pittsburgh. The casino would sit on the west side of the Station Square complex, displacing the concert amphitheater that sits there now.
The condominium towers would be to the east of the Smithfield Street Bridge, likely displacing the warehouse building that is now home to several nightclubs.
More details in tomorrow’s Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.