PITTSBURGH, April 18 -- Forest City Enterprises
(NYSE: FCEA; FCEB) and Harrah's Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: HET) today
presented their plan for investing more than $1 billion at Station Square
to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board during public hearings held in
Pittsburgh. The two industry leaders reiterated their commitment and
ability to generate the most revenues for the state, Allegheny County, City
of Pittsburgh, and Pittsburgh School District. The plan includes
substantial new investment in support of a revitalized downtown Pittsburgh,
a $512 million casino, a community partnership with the Pittsburgh History
& Landmarks Foundation, and the creation of a new charitable foundation
headed by Franco Harris.
"We're excited about the tremendous potential of bringing the Harrah's
brand to western Pennsylvania's premier tourist destination," said Charles
Atwood, chief financial officer of Harrah's Entertainment. "We plan to
create a first-class gaming, retail, and dining experience, one that we
believe, when combined with our industry-leading customer loyalty program,
will complement and expand Pittsburgh's tourism industry."
Brian Ratner, director of Forest City Enterprises outlined the group's
support of the multi-purpose arena financing plan: "We are looking forward
to the opportunity to work with the government to execute a plan to
construct a new arena. We believe the Arena Funding Plan offered by
Governor Rendell, Executive Onorato and Mayor O'Connor is a great approach
to financing a new multi-purpose Arena." Ratner continued, "Once the
Penguins commit to staying in Pittsburgh as an integral part of the
community, the Harrah's Station Square team welcomes the opportunity to
finalize the terms of our participation."
The plan expands Station Square into a bustling, new, urban mixed-use
residential and entertainment community. This will include ground-floor
retail, sidewalk dining and cafe eateries, a 400,000-square-foot, $512
million Harrah's Station Square Casino with 3,000 slots, an additional 200
rooms at the adjacent 400-room Sheraton Station Square Hotel, and 1,250
residential condominium units. All of these new elements will be connected
by pedestrian scaled streets, creating a neighborhood look and feel. The
residential units will have porches and stoops, accompanied by new parks
and a riverside esplanade offering improved river access. With more than 50
acres at Station Square, the plan also allows for future expansion of the
casino to 5,000 slots and the creation of a new hotel tower with 300-500
"Harrah's Entertainment is committed to creating compelling gaming
entertainment experiences in the markets in which we operate," Atwood said.
"This translates into the greatest economic impact for the City of
Pittsburgh and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania: More jobs, greater
property and wage tax relief, and more opportunities for local businesses."
Jesse Fife, Jr., Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer,
spoke in support of the Harrah's Station Square proposal, explaining the
role his institution will play should the license be awarded to the group.
"Our organization is deeply committed to the future of this region and
we entered into a partnership with Harrah's Station Square because we
realized their plan offers a unique opportunity to create a diverse
workforce development program and good paying jobs in this region. Bidwell
will serve as the training ground for many of the projected employees that
Harrah's will need to sustain a successful casino in Pittsburgh," Fife
said. "As we evaluated this partnership, it became clear to us that
Harrah's Station Square is the applicant that has the capacity to create
the most jobs for our region. Their human resources, employment track
record and commitment to diversity is unparalleled in the industry and has
become the benchmark for every other player in the casino industry. Equally
important, Harrah's is a company that understands how to create
opportunities for inner city, disadvantaged populations."
Brian Ratner, director of Forest City Enterprises, outlined the
findings of a transportation impact study conducted by nationally
recognized transportation engineering firm DKS Associates, and Pittsburgh's
GAI Consultants. "Station Square is uniquely positioned to absorb the
enhanced visitation a casino will bring from a transportation standpoint.
Its location on the west side of Station Square allows for the best
integration into the overall site and offers the only location that
benefits from all modes of transportation - interstate highway, river,
light rail, bus, pedestrian and incline," Ratner said. "We also will tap an
interstate system that will take traffic off of Carson Street, the
Smithfield Street Bridge and the downtown area. When combined with the
assets already in place at Station Square and Bessemer court and the
additional retail that will be developed, this development will create a
'spine line' or Main Street concept that will connect a dynamic
multi-purpose, mixed use Station Square and a vibrant, walkable community."
Forest City and Harrah's also reviewed their significant philanthropic
commitment to Pittsburgh, both now and in the long-term, that will be
realized should they secure the license to develop a casino, as follows:
- The Forest City/Harrah's development proposal will enable the
Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation to establish an endowment
of $25 million. Proceeds to the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks
Foundation will be invested with its existing funds and used to support
and expand programs to revitalize inner city neighborhoods.
- In addition, the Forest City/Harrah's development proposal will give a
total of more than $1 million a year through a foundation to support
the community. Half of the funds must be used in neighborhoods with a
60 percent or higher minority population. Franco Harris will lead the
effort to give these funds back to the community. This money will be
made available as soon as the license is secured.
About Harrah's Entertainment Inc.
Harrah's Entertainment, Inc. is the world's largest provider of branded
casino entertainment through operating subsidiaries. Since its beginning in
Reno, Nevada 68 years ago, Harrah's has grown through development of new
properties, expansions and acquisitions. Harrah's Entertainment is focused
on building loyalty and value with its customers through a unique
combination of great service, excellent products, unsurpassed distribution,
operational excellence and technology leadership.
More information about Harrah's is available at its Web site -
About Forest City Enterprises
Forest City Enterprises, Inc. is a $7.8 billion NYSE-listed national
real estate company. The Company is principally engaged in the ownership,
development, management and acquisition of commercial and residential real
estate throughout the United States.
Safe Harbor Language
This release includes "forward-looking statements" intended to qualify
for the safe harbor from liability established by the Private Securities
Litigation Reform Act of 1995. You can identify these statements by the
fact that they do not relate strictly to historical or current facts. These
statements contain words such as "may," "will," "project," "might,"
"expect," "believe," "anticipate," "intend," "could," "would," "estimate,"
"continue" or "pursue," or the negative or other variations thereof or
comparable terminology. In particular, they include statements relating to,
among other things, future actions, new projects (including Station
Square), strategies, future performance, the outcomes of contingencies and
future financial results of Harrah's and Forest City. These forward-looking
statements are based on current expectations and projections about future
Investors are cautioned that forward-looking statements are not
guarantees of future performance or results and involve risks and
uncertainties that cannot be predicted or quantified and, consequently, the
actual performance of Harrah's and Forest City may differ materially from
those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such risks
and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the following factors,
as well as other factors described from time to time in the reports filed
with the Securities and Exchange Commission by Harrah's and Forest City
(including the sections entitled "Risk Factors" and "Management's
Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations"
contained therein): the effects of local and national economic, credit and
capital market conditions on the economy in general, and on the gaming and
hotel industries in particular; construction factors, including delays,
increased costs for labor and materials, availability of labor and
materials, zoning issues, environmental restrictions, soil and water
conditions, weather and other hazards, site access matters and building
permit issues; the effects of environmental and structural building
conditions relating to our properties; access to available and reasonable
financing on a timely basis; the ability to timely and cost-effectively
integrate into Caesars into Harrah's operations; changes in laws, including
increased tax rates, regulations or accounting standards, third-party
relations and approvals, and decisions of courts, regulators and
governmental bodies; litigation outcomes and judicial actions, including
gaming legislative action, referenda and taxation; the ability of Harrah's
customer-tracking, customer loyalty and yield-management programs to
continue to increase customer loyalty and same store sales or hotel sales;
our ability to recoup costs of capital investments through higher revenues;
acts of war or terrorist incidents or natural disasters; abnormal gaming
holds; and the effects of competition, including locations of competitors
and operating and market competition.
Any forward-looking statements are made pursuant to the Private
Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and, as such, speak only as of the
date made. Harrah's disclaims any obligation to update the forward-looking
statements. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these
forward-looking statements which speak only as of the date stated, or if no
date is stated, as of the date of this press release.
Jpg images of the renderings for the proposed development are available
by contacting prwerks at 412-918-0094.
SOURCE Forest City Enterprises; Harrah's Entertainment Inc.
Web Site: http://www.harrahs.com
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