Billionaire Stefan Soloviev Set To Develop This Beautiful Entertainment District

The 42-story Stygian condo tower || inset is Billionaire Stefan Soloviev

One of America’s largest landowners is locked out of the 6.5-acre vacant lot he owns just south of the United Nations in New York City. Billionaire Stefan Soloviev is set to develop the Beautiful Entertainment District.

Billionaire Stefan Soloviev will invest more than $3 billion in this beautiful real estate. From across the street, the 42-story Stygian condo tower his father built casts a long shadow.

The Billionaire Stefan Soloviev says,

“It’s an entertainment district.” The Spin City is more than just a casino.

The late real estate mogul Sheldon Solow’s son, 47-year-old Soloviev, has the potential to alter the New York skyline in a manner similar to Soloviev’s.

Solow, a college dropout and the son of a bricklayer, built an empire of skyscrapers and residential buildings, including the recognizable 9 West 57th Street, to make a $4.4 billion real estate fortune.

In part to distance himself from his father, Soloviev started his own empire of farmland and railroads in Kansas and Colorado and is now worth more than $2 billion. He uses the original Russian spelling of the family name.

Soloviev has now returned home to try to win one of the most prized prizes in the country: one of the three casino licenses for New York City that the state will soon give to developers with a lot of money.

The “Freedom Plaza” that Soloviev wants to build on his East River property is his plan. A 1,000-room hotel, two residential towers, a Ferris wheel, a soccer field, and a democracy museum with large pieces of the Berlin Wall from his personal collection would all be part of the development.

The casino, shopping, restaurants, and concert venue are all included in the package. Soloviev claims that his company is prepared to invest $3.2 billion in the project and is in the process of negotiating a deal with a significant casino partner.

Standing on his barren plot, which was once home to a Con Edison power station before Soloviev’s family business purchased it in a contentious $600 million deal in 2000, Soloviev declares,

“This is the most exciting thing in New York right now.”

“Once more, it isn’t just a casino; It is a district for entertainment. Whether or not people gamble, this community will attract people and serve as the city’s focal point.

Because he owns the Colorado Pacific Railroad, which runs through Kansas and into the Centennial State, Soloviev appears to be much more at ease riding a freight train across the plains than he is in Manhattan wearing a suit and tie.

About Stefan Soloviev:

By the time Soloviev was a senior in high school in 1992, he was working for his father, who founded and ran the Solow Building Co. until he died in 2020 at the age of 92. Soloviev grew up a few blocks away from the proposed location of Freedom Plaza.

On West 57th Street, Soloviev began his career by parking cars at his father’s crown jewel, the distinctively sloping office building with a view of Central Park. He didn’t do a good job valeting the first car.

He claims that because he didn’t know how to drive the stick, the vehicle spun out of control, but he was able to stop it without colliding with anything.

He went to the University of Rhode Island the following year, but he mostly traded commodities like sugar, gold, and grains.

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He claims, “I would use the payphone and call a broker at JPMorgan.” However, after that, my father compelled me to quit school and work for him. We all agreed on this one thing.

The former valet began managing his father’s garages all over again in New York. After having too many arguments with his father and meeting a girl at an East Hampton party, Soloviev married her and left with his new bride for the West. Soloviev describes his father as “impossible to work for and with” despite our numerous disagreements.

They ended up in Kansas, where Soloviev says he started an agriculture business called Crossroads and bought his first pieces of land with a federally subsidized loan.

He built a conglomerate that covers 400,000 acres of dry land in Kansas and Colorado, growing wheat and corn. He owns a 300,000-acre cattle ranch in New Mexico that yields 1.5 million pounds of beef annually. He is one of the country’s top 30 largest landowners.

Although only 11 of Soloviev’s children were named in his father’s will, he had more than 22 children when he inherited the Solow Building Co. and merged it with his business to form the Soloviev Group. Last summer, he paid $1.75 billion for a portfolio of apartment buildings owned by his father.

He bought a few businesses on Shelter Island in April 2020, including the trendy hotel The Chequit. On the North Fork of Long Island, he also owns hundreds of acres of farmland.) During the pandemic, he moved his primary residence to Delray Beach, Florida, like many other Americans.

Soloviev doesn’t hesitate when asked if he has learned anything from his father as he prepares to build a Manhattan casino:

“No, I have my own style. I’ll try to make it as dramatic and beautiful as I can.”

The official request for applications for up to three new casinos in the downstate region was issued earlier this month by the New York State Gaming Facility Location Board. Westchester and Long Island, two of the city’s five boroughs, are included in this.

Each proposal must commit a minimum capital investment of $500 million, as well as a fee of at least $500 million for a gambling license, according to the state. To apply, each bidder must also pay the New York State Gaming Commission a $1 million non-refundable fee.

The wealthiest and most powerful real estate developers in New York have revealed ambitious plans for five-borough Las Vegas-style casinos over the past few months. Wynn is working with Related Companies, the same company that built Hudson Yards in Manhattan, to build a casino near the Javits Center on Manhattan’s West Side.

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Hudson’s Bay Co., the company that owns Saks Fifth Avenue, wants to turn the top three floors of its flagship department store near Rockefeller Center into a posh casino. Caesars Entertainment, Jay-Z’s Roc Nation, and commercial real estate giant SL Green Realty Corp. also hope to bring Caesars Palace into the heart of Times Square.

The New York real estate giant Vornado said in January that it is also thinking about making a bid for a casino to replace the famous Hotel Pennsylvania, which is going to be demolished later this year and is located right next to Madison Square Garden. A spokesperson for Vornado claims, “We are examining the possibility of applying for a casino license, but we have no deal in place.”

One of Soloviev’s Freedom Plaza’s biggest problems, along with all other potential casinos in New York City, is that the community doesn’t want one. Community Board 6, which covers Murray Hill, Tudor City, and Kips Bay, strongly opposes the development despite the fact that Soloviev grew up a block from the vacant parcel he owns and that his father’s buildings dot the neighborhood.

Meanwhile, Soloviev and the other billionaires and real estate tycoons competing for a license face another obstacle: there are allegedly two front-runners. Because they have already been operating for years and contributing to the state’s budget, many political and business insiders believe that the two racinos near Manhattan have a significant advantage.

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