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CurbedWire: Escalator Mayhem, Queens' Friendly Casino

MIDTOWN EAST?Good news for commuters, bad news for bums: "After over a year of serving as a local homeless hangout, the escalator at the Lex/53 St subway hub is finally being replaced. Work began a couple weekends ago, and should be completed rather soon. This should come as a welcome relief to straphangers plagued by the nuisance." The tomb of the Union Square escalators, however, carries on. [CurbedWire Inbox]

JAMAICA?The competition to turn Queens' Aqueduct Racetrack into a glittering Vegas on the A Train is heating up, and after a report surfaced that the MGM Mirage group is connected to an alleged Chinese gangster, the bidders are in need of a little positive publicity. So the MGM Mirage peeps have sent out a press release highlighting the community benefits that are part of its proposal, including the hiring of local suppliers for construction materials and the creation of a youth academy to introduce kids to entrepreneurs. Plus, the slot machines will happily take your money! [CurbedWire Inbox]

HUDSON YARDS?The rezoning of the western chunk of the West Side Rail Yards (to make way for Related's mixed-use Hudson Yards megadevelopment, eventually) has picked up the conditional support of Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer. As part of the ULURP process, the rezoning will next head to the City Planning Commission for a September 9 hearing. [CurbedWire Inbox]