Renderings have now been released for the upcoming Field of Light at Freedom Plaza, a sprawling light installation by designer Bruce Munro that is set to grace the site of a proposed casino in Midtown East.
The project, financed by the Soloviev Group, owner of the vacant land, will feature 17,000 low-light, fiber-optic stemmed spheres that change colors, creating an enchanting landscape across six acres near the United Nations headquarters. The installation will debut this winter, welcoming the public for a free viewing experience, 6sqft reported.
Field of Light is scheduled to be on display for a duration of 12 months. The Soloviev Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Soloviev Group, has allocated approximately $1.5 million to fund the light installation and oversee its maintenance, as reported by the New York Times. Michael Hershman, CEO of the Soloviev Group, characterized the installation as a “gift to New York.”
The Soloviev Group is among several developers vying for one of up to three casino licenses to be made available in the New York City area. Earlier this year, the group unveiled plans for Freedom Plaza, a mixed-use development anchored by a partially subterranean casino operated by Mohegan.
The proposed project also includes a 1,200-room hotel, two residential towers featuring condominium and rental units (with some designated as affordable housing), over four acres of public green space, and a human rights museum housing sections of the Berlin Wall.
It’s worth noting that the initial proposal mentioned a giant Ferris wheel for the site, but this idea has since been abandoned, as reported by the New York Times.
As many as a dozen casino operators could ultimately vie for the three downstate casino licenses New York state gaming regulators are set to award. The frontrunners for two of the permits are believed to be Genting and MGM Resorts, operators of Resorts World New York City in Queens and Empire City Casino in Yonkers, respectively. The licenses would allow the properties, currently limited to slot machines only, to expand their gaming offerings.