It’s Time To Finish What We Started at Hudson Yards

By Louis J. Coletti

Building a casino in Manhattan would be a much- needed boost to the economy of New York City.  The Building Trades Employers’ Association endorses the Related Companies/Wynn Resorts as the best proposal to achieve this goal.

The BTEA represents over 1,200 union contractors comprised of construction managers, general and subcontractors, and 26 trade associations who employ the 100,000 members of NYC’s Building Trade unions.

According to a study by Urbanomics, the Real Estate and Construction industry are the key drivers of New York’s economy:

  • Each $1 spent on construction yields a total of $1.31 spent in NYC
  • Each $ 1 million spent on construction yields a total of 8 jobs in NYC
  • Each job created on a NYC construction site creates a multiplier of 1.32 additional jobs
  • Real Estate and Construction comprise 20 % of NYC’s GDP while providing 10 % of jobs and 5% of total wages

The Related Companies/Wynn Resorts proposal will also grow NYC’s middle class largely because they already have signed a Project Labor Agreement which ensures it will be built by BTEA union contractors and Building Trade union members. How so?

  • The BTEA has some 200 Minority and Women Owned Contractors with 42% having revenues of $ 5 million or more and 21% having revenues of $ 1-5 million
  • 55% of the 100,000 members of the NYC Building Trade union workforce are minority and women: 2% are black, 30.5% are Latino and 3% are women
  • Black union construction workers earn more than 36.1% more in wages than black non-union construction workers in NYC
  • Latino union construction workers earn more than 52.7% more than non-union Latino construction workers in NYC.

This is how this project will help build NYC’s middle class.

The Related Companies/Wynn Resorts proposal has a world class gaming resort as the centerpiece of a broad and transformative project atop the Western Rail Yards.

It also has a proven track record.  The Hudson Yards development has created a new neighborhood and transformed Manhattan’s West Side.  Projects of that size and scope don’t come around very often and the opportunity to do it again is an opportunity to finish what has been started and complete the vision of Hudson Yards, fill the hole in the grid and revitalize NYC’s economy.

I can recall when Hudson Yards was nothing but a vacant eyesore with MTA trains parked on it.   Today it is one of NYC’s most vibrant, commercial/residential neighborhoods.

The economics of this proposal are staggering at a time when NYC’s economy needs an injection of job creation.

This proposal will create and provide more than 20,000 good paying, middle-class, blue-collar construction jobs paying more than $3 billion in wages.  Between 2011 and 2014 alone, the Eastern portion of Hudson Yards was responsible for 16% of new construction in all of New York City, and since 2017 has generated hundreds of millions of dollars in new tax revenues.

The Related Companies/Wynn Resort casino proposal is the best for New York and New Yorkers at a time when it is most needed.

Louis J. Coletti is President of the Building Trades Employers’ Association of NYC.