Soloviev Group hires key appointment at Freedom Plaza, site considered for downstate full-scale casino license

The Soloviev Group tells News 12's senior reporter Tara Rosenblum they've hired Michael Balboni, former Homeland Security advisor for New York, to serve as its safety and security advisor.

Lee Danuff and Tara Rosenblum

Mar 19, 2024, 1:17 AM

Updated 31 days ago

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The 'Turn To Tara' team has learned of a key appointment at one of the sites being considered for a downstate, full-scale casino license in New York. The Soloviev Group's Freedom Plaza project would be housed on the largest undeveloped lot in Manhattan - located just south of the United Nations headquarters on First Avenue between 38th and 41st streets. The proposal includes a plan to build a casino and entertainment hub on the six acres of land.
The Soloviev Group tells News 12's senior reporter Tara Rosenblum they've hired Michael Balboni, former Homeland Security advisor for New York, to serve as its safety and security advisor.
Balboni will oversee all aspects of public safety.
In his first interview since joining the team, Balboni outlined some of the ways he'd keep the site secure.
"You have to know what's going on in the community," he says. "And by putting security personnel cameras and controlled access points and forming partnerships with the New York City Police Department with the state police and with the UN Security personnel, you actually have a force multiplier in that area that is going to bring more security than certainly that exists today."
The Soloviev Group is teaming up with gaming operator Mohegan for their proposal.
There is no word yet when the New York State Gaming Commission will formally start accepting applications.
The developers are still waiting to hear back on a second round of questions sent to the state for clarification.
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