Casino operator Rush Street Gaming is moving into office space at Center City in downtown Schenectady ahead of the anticipated opening of the Rivers Casino and Resort at Mohawk Harbor.
The office will be open by mid-May and serve as an information center during construction of the $330 million casino at the old Alco site between Erie Boulevard and the Mohawk River. The 2,166-square-foot space is located on the first floor of 433 State St., next to Johnny’s.
“We have a lot of folks coming in and out of Schenectady, working on the project now, so this office will serve as a home base,” said Rush Street CEO Greg Carlin. “We will have a few people there to collect resumes and talk about job opportunities.”
Rush Street plans to use the space, which the company will occupy until the casino is built, for job interviews, meetings and training programs, Carlin said.
The office will not be accepting job applications when it first opens, but will be open to the public to learn more about the Rivers Casino project, he said. Rush Street also set up a website about the casino at www.riverscasinoandresort.com.
“The space itself isn’t huge for job interviews on a large scale, but it would serve as a place to talk to potential candidates,” Carlin said. “We have a short-term lease, and the plan is to move the office to a bigger facility on the casino site once it opens. That would probably be in two years or so.”
Center City was built and is managed by Rotterdam developer the Galesi Group. Galesi is partnering with Chicago-based Rush Street Gaming to build and manage the Rivers Casino. The casino was recommended for a gaming license by the state Gaming Facility Location Board in December.
The casino will have a 50,000-square-foot gaming floor with 1,150 slot machines and 66 table games. It is expected to create about 1,200 permanent jobs and 1,400 construction jobs.
Rush Street is looking to partner with some local businesses as part of the project, including the Mallozzi Group. The Mallozzis would manage the banquet facility and open a restaurant on site as part of the casino.
Carlin said opening an office in downtown would enable Rush Street to better connect with more Schenectady businesses and develop potential partnerships.
“The office is in the perfect location, right in the heart of downtown Schenectady, and will allow us to better engage with local residents and businesses,” he said.
The casino is part of a $480 million revitalization of the 60-acre brownfield with housing, two hotels and office and retail space. The site will feature a harbor with about 50 boat slips, along with a bike path and pedestrian walkway.
The Gaming Commission has not yet awarded the casino license to Rivers, but plans to do so after state police complete background checks on the developer and operator. It is unclear when the license will be awarded, but Gaming Commission spokesman Lee Park said it would be sometime this year.
When the license is awarded to Rush Street, the casino would have to be built within two years. Carlin said he expects the casino to be up and running in as little as 18 months.
The Gaming Commission, with the help of several working groups, is currently drafting gaming regulations for the state’s first commercial casinos, according to Park.
The location board also recommended projects in Seneca County and Sullivan County for casino licenses. The five-member board is considering a fourth license for a project in the Southern Tier region. Tioga Downs in Tioga County is vying for the license to expand its gaming floor with table games.