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Empire City Casino draws retail investment on Yonkers Avenue

October 3, 2019

Despite the state moratorium on new casino licenses, MGM’s acquisition of Empire City Casino and Yonkers Raceway last year is luring new capital to the immediate area, according to real estate firm NuRealty Advisors.

NuRealty, a Yonkers-based brokerage, said the trend is evident in the sale of the 22,735-square-foot retail center at 778, 786 and 790 Yonkers Ave., located one block from the casino.

“This transaction was challenging as the retail market has been recently soft but our efforts to promote the future value given light of the recent sale of Empire Casino to MGM was instrumental in our ability to market this property for sale,” NuRealty said.

Ludlow Avenue Corp., a limited liability firm based in Yonkers, closed on the sale of the retail center on Sept. 4. The organization acquired the property, valued at $4.9 million, as part of a larger $5.6 million transaction.

NuRealty said it marketed the property for two years before securing a buyer.

“At the moment, [the new ownership’s] philosophy is to naturally stabilize the investment by renewing leases on a long-term basis,” Nukho said. “They are not intimidated to let a tenant go… knowing that there is an upside with MGM.”

Empire City Casino opened in 1899. The property was sold to MGM by the Rooney Family for $850 million in January 2018. The family owned the property since 1972.

MGM was previously reported to have offered $500 million for a gaming license at Empire Casino.

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