Newswire Residential

Manhattan Residents and Local Small Business Owners Voice Their Support for Freedom Plaza

Conceptual rendering of Freedom Plaza Image by Negativ

Soloviev Group, a leader in socially responsible and environmentally sustainable development, has garnered support from more than 10,000 Manhattan residents and 250 local small businesses for its community-driven, mixed-use development and publicly accessible open space plan, Freedom Plaza. Encompassing more than six-acres from 38th to 41st Street east of First Avenue, Freedom Plaza is being developed in partnership withglobal entertainment owner and operator Mohegan.

Independently administered, the petition outlined anticipated components and affirmed resident support for the Freedom Plaza plan that includes:

  • Delivery of 513 units of onsite affordable housing
  • Creation of thousands of well-paying union jobs in connection with the development’s 5-star hotel and hospitality offerings that encompass restaurants, gaming, and a cultural performance space
  • An onsite daycare and grocery market
  • 4.77 acres of publicly accessible, landscaped open space
  • A museum dedicated to democracy
  • Establishment of a community benefit fund that will reinvest millions of dollars annually in local community-directed programs

Resident backing has been echoed by local small business owners who through their letters endorsed Freedom Plaza’s unique ability to fulfill the community’s need for new affordable housing and jobs, while also increasing foot-traffic and attention to their businesses through the presence of hospitality patrons and workers, and visitors to the publicly accessible open space and museum.

“We really need economic development here on Manhattan’s East Side. I’m happy to learn there is an exciting plan for that long empty site. The pandemic hurt all of the local shops, and a new hotel and new housing will be good for businesses like mine,” said David Shalamov, CEO, D’shal Salon.

The positive sentiment expressed by local small business owners aligns with the objectives of the Mohegan Momentum Partnership Program for New York City, an economic catalyst that will provide millions of dollars annually in flexible gaming-based rewards and incentivize hotel and gaming venue guests to visit and support local, New York City, and Greater New York City area restaurants, retail stores, and businesses. Applauded by The New York State Restaurant Association, the program will create additional revenue and expand the establishments’ customer base.

As announced October 2023, Freedom Plaza will include 513 affordable housing units, marking the largest anticipated number of newly constructed affordable units in the Central Core of Manhattan in more than a decade. The projected affordable housing component will comply with the City’s Inclusionary Housing Program as well as all other applicable affordability guidelines.

Also in October, Soloviev Group together with Mohegan introduced the Freedom Plaza Community Reinvestment Fund, an autonomous community-based initiative that will donate 2% of the net profits generated from the proposed gaming component directly to the local community. The annual contribution is intended to advance local initiatives that will positively impact local residents of all ages.

Like the Soloviev Group, Mohegan is mission-driven and prioritizes carbon-neutral development, infrastructure funding and improvement, job creation, the utilization of local vendors, and stimulating local and state economic growth.