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Team Led by R. Donahue Peebles Commits to “Community First” in Hiring for Proposed
Half Billion Dollar MGM Grand at Aqueduct Located in the Borough
of Queens, New York City

NEW YORK - August 26, 2009 - -In a significant step toward reinforcing New York State’s progressive approach to economic development, the Peebles-led team vying to transform the Aqueduct Racetrack into a vibrant gaming and entertainment destination with an MGM Grand casino, today announced a bold commitment to job creation for Queens residents and companies, as well as minority and women-owned businesses.

“The Aqueduct project has the potential to be one of the greatest economic stimulus programs ever launched in Queens,” said R. Donahue Peebles, CEO of The Peebles Corporation, the largest African-American-owned real estate development company in North America. “To ensure that our project has real and meaningful impact upon local residents and companies, we are committed to a multi-faceted approach which will generate revenue for the state while creating thousands of jobs, boosting the local economy, and offering growth opportunities to local, small, minority and women-owned companies that deserve a shot. As a developer with several public-private partnerships under my belt this is something that is important to me and the team.”

As part of the effort, local businesses will be prioritized for bidding to supply many of the goods and services for the construction of the anticipated $550 million mixed-use development creating New York City’s first casino gaming and entertainment destination.

The commitment means that qualified area businesses will be given the opportunity to bid for work performed by the team and those bids will be prioritized for consideration.

In addition to creating nearly 4,000 construction and permanent jobs, the Peebles team will produce approximately $17 billion in revenue for the State of New York and $5 billion for support of the horse racing industry over the initial 30 years.

Other elements of the program include:

  • Establishing a Project Labor Agreement that achieves significant participation of qualified LBE and MWBE firms in the construction and operation of the facility with a target of 40 percent participation;
  • Creation of an Youth Academy, funded by private dollars, that introduces local youth to entrepreneurship and inspirational examples; and
  • Endow a Small Business Development Center, funded by private dollars, to nurture the growth of small, local businesses and provide direct access to Project bids on an ongoing basis.
Mr. Peebles added, “Our team is focused on the tangible results of this project and not the gamesmanship of drawings and lobbyists. We have the best operator in the business with MGM MIRAGE. We have the best contractor for casino development with Perini Building Company. My track record of leading public-private ventures speaks for itself. We will get the job done and the meaningful community benefits must be an integral part of it.”

MGM Grand at Aqueduct includes 4,500 video lottery terminals, an upscale, full-service hotel, a business conference center, an event center and dining facilities at various price points, all of which will be available to the community.

R. Donahue Peebles, Lead Developer

Recognized as one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the nation, R. Donahue Peebles is the President and CEO of The Peebles Corporation. The firm has a $4 billion development portfolio of projects completed, underway and planned across the U.S. in cities such as Washington, D.C., Miami Beach, San Francisco and Las Vegas. It is widely regarded as the country's largest African-American real estate development company.

An active developer for nearly 25 years, Mr. Peebles has been a visionary in contributing to the economic revitalization of Washington, D.C. and Miami Beach, Florida before it became popular. He and his firm focus on urban revitalization, mixed-use development and public-private partnerships. He has a track record of working with community groups and government organizations to successfully complete large-scale projects.

In June of 2009, Mr. Peebles was named by Forbes as one of the country’s ten richest African Americans. Mr. Peebles appears regularly on CNN, CNBC and FOX to advise on real estate, economic and political issues. He has been featured in publications like The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Black Enterprise, Ebony and Forbes. Mr. Peebles is also the top selling author of The Peebles Principles and The Peebles Path to Real Estate Wealth.

MGM Grand at Aqueduct. A world-class entertainment destination like New York State has never seen. Ranked among the kings of casinos, like MGM’s Bellagio, Luxor, Mirage and MGM Grand Las Vegas, this dynamic project combines the entrepreneurial savvy of lead developer R. Donahue Peebles and the global power of the MGM brand.

Property Highlights

  • MGM Grand casino with 4,500 Video Lottery Terminals (VLTs)
  • Delectable fine-dining restaurants
  • Sophisticated ultra-lounge
  • Luxurious 350-room hotel
  • State-of-the-art meeting center
  • Versatile entertainment venue
Copyright Aqueduct Gaming Investors, LLC. All rights reserved


Lee Silberstein 




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