Morning Headlines: SugarHouse Begins $164M Expansion

SugarHouse photo courtesy sameold210 via Flickr.

SugarHouse photo courtesy sameold210 via Flickr.

You may not remember it now, but when SugarHouse opened in 2010, the casino was not quite finished. Yes, the facility was built, but there were further plans for expansion. After years of legal battles and delays, executives (and local pols) broke ground yesterday. The Inquirer’s Harold Brubaker has all the details.

The expansion, expected to open next year, will more than double the size of SugarHouse, to 260,000 square feet from 108,000 square feet, not including a 600,000-square-foot, seven-story parking garage that will give poker players, in particular, quick access to the tables.

The expansion will increase SugarHouse’s gambling floor to 85,000 square feet from 50,000 square feet. That will allow the company to operate 30 more table games, 400 more slot machines, and a 30-table poker room.

General Manager Wendy Hamilton tells Brubaker that most of the expansion will focus on “non-gambling attractions” like restaurants and a 30,000 square foot event space with Ben Franklin views. SugarHouse also says the expansion comes with plans for 500 new jobs.

Greg Carlin, chief executive at the casino, noted that the expansion is coming while the industry has hit a rough patch in Atlantic City.

“There is currently too much gaming capacity in the Northeast, but we made a promise to Philadelphia that one day we would expand and make SugarHouse Casino bigger and much better,” he said.

More news this way …

Sheraton Center City evacuated for smoke [Philly.com]

Seventh wrongful death suit filed in 2013 Market Street collapse [Philly Business Journal]

In defense of pop-up beer gardens [Hidden City]

Terry Gillen’s stance on development [City Paper]

Can you identify blocks of the city by Google Maps Street View? [Technical.ly Philly]

Morning Headlines: Experts Consider Atlantic City’s Fate

Photo courtesy  Wikimedia Commons.

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

The Inquirer has a lengthy report this morning speculating on Atlantic City’s fate come September, when as many as four Boardwalk properties may be vacant. Suzette Parmley talks to a variety of authorities and rubberneckers, and even nabs a quote from Carl Dranoff while he’s at dinner.

With the Atlantic Club having closed in January, Trump Plaza closing in September and Revel and Showboat in dire straits, Mayor Don Guardian tells Parmley that the city is considering using the old casinos for other purposes. Changes will need the go-ahead from the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority.

What would the other purposes be? Parmley found a few people with suggestions. One possible tenant would be Richard Stockton College, which has expressed interest in opening a campus in Atlantic City:

The changing landscape in A.C. makes it more important than ever to diversify the economic base in Atlantic City, as well as provide four-year degree and higher educational opportunities for the many employees being displaced,” Stockton president Herman Saatkamp said in a statement Wednesday. “A college campus complete with housing and surrounding businesses would be a significant asset to these needs.

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Spectacular Ceilings in Anglecot Condo

TREND photo courtesy Fox & Roach.

TREND photo courtesy Fox & Roach.

Built in 1883 by Wilson Eyre Jr. (you know him from the Penn Museum and the Swan Memorial Fountain), Anglecot was once a grand single family home. It’s now a grand multi-family dwelling that has been carved into nine very distinct condominiums. Unit B sold last fall. Now Unit D is on the market.

The condo is stretched over three floors of the mansion. It includes three beds and three full baths as well as a powder room. Ceilings on the main living floor are jaw-dropping, likely because what is now the living and dining area was once the ballroom in the original Anglecot configuration. The downstairs also includes two tiled fireplaces and a wall of built-in bookshelves. The galley kitchen features one of two skylights (the other is on the third floor in the studio). The master suite is accessible by a spiral staircase and includes a dressing room, sitting area and Juliet balcony.
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Roof Deck-Ready Penthouse at Vine Street Condos

TREND photo courtesy Keller Williams.

TREND photo courtesy Keller Williams.

Penthouses in any Center City condo are bound to be pretty spectacular in their own way. This one caught our eye because of the handsome exposed brick, which gives the unit a homier feeling than many other similarly situated penthouse lofts. The Vine Street Condos are in a nine-unit building at 5th and Vine and being the penthouse, this unit also has solitary access to the roof.

The main living space in the 2,600-square-foot-plus penthouse is completely open plan. A gourmet kitchen – finished with granite countertops, a huge center island and very shiny backsplash – overlooks the bricked living and dining spaces. Bedrooms are separated by frosted glass sliding doors (a feature we like far better in photos than by description). The master suite includes a custom closet as well as an en-suite bath with soaking tub.
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Home Built by the Strawbridges Hits the Market for $1.15M

TREND photo courtesy Elfant Wissahickon.

TREND photo courtesy Elfant Wissahickon.

Known for founding the beloved (and well-missed!) department store at 8th and Market, the Strawbridge family also constructed three large homes during the last few decades of the 19th century. One of the “Three Sisters” properties – a Queen Anne Victorian landmark in Mt. Airy – hit the market this week after a significant renovation process.

Owner Daniel Cohen reported that he worked with Lawrence McEwan for layout and structural architecture and Jamie Swidler for interior finishes and furnishings. Cohen himself acted as general contractor alongside Dean Coffin and Martin Madden. Renovations included installing ten zones of radiant heat over three hardwood floors as well as smart technology that will enable new owners to control HVAC functions, lighting and security remotely. There is also a sound system wired through most of the house.
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Delightful Century-Old Tudor in Mount Airy

TREND photo courtesy Elfant Wissahickon.

TREND photo courtesy Elfant Wissahickon.

There are plenty of homes in Philadelphia that are 110 years old. But it’s rare to find one where details have been thoughtfully preserved but it doesn’t scream This is historic! Look at this hearth! This Mount Airy gem is a best-case scenario. Modern upgrades, charming details, lots of period-related curb appeal.

The home features five bedrooms and two full baths plus a powder room. Built in 1904, the single home is full of character. The entryway is surrounded by leaded stained glass windows and there are multiple rooms with at least one wall of exposed brick. A hallway entry on the second floor is made of exposed stonework and the living room fireplace features an intricately carved wood mantel.

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Jaw-Dropper of the Week: Enormous Loft at 1234 Hamilton

TREND photo courtesy Distinctive Homes Realty.

TREND photo courtesy Distinctive Homes Realty.

In general, you can expect a loft to offer a lot of open space and plenty of oversized windows. But this 5,100 square-foot unit at 1234 Hamilton was once two separate homes, meaning it’s huge — even by loft standards. There are southern and western views from multiple walls of windows. There are two giant bedrooms. And there are three adjoining parking spaces.

The unit’s entrance is served by a private freight elevator that can accommodate up to 8,000 pounds. As the listing points out, that means you could drive a motorcycle directly into your home. The main floor is entirely open and features radiant heating. Windows provide views of the Reading Viaduct and Center City. In addition to the living area, the main floor features a workshop, a media room, a den and a full bathroom.

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Habitat: Colonial-Era Farmhouse in Chester Heights

Photo by Laura Kicey.

Photo by Laura Kicey.

Erin Cochran said it was her husband who first fell in love with their three-bedroom Delco farmhouse. “I can’t say that I did at first,” she said. “He had to talk me into it.”

In 1996, the farmhouse was still broken into three very distinct periods of its evolution. There was the Colonial-era (they are told) foundation of the home, a Victorian-era front porch they believe was built after the Civil War, and a family room that had been added on in 1989. Cochran said the three parts of the home felt disjointed. The main entrance was also through the addition. “You didn’t know where you were when you got into the house,” she said.

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Dreamy Bathroom, Wine Cellar and Nanny Suite in Rittenhouse Square

TREND photo courtesy Coldwell Banker.

TREND photo courtesy Coldwell Banker.

On the Rittenhouse Square Luxury Homes bingo card, “Delancey Street” would be the center square. This home would satisfy the rest of the bingo squares pretty quickly. Multiple fireplaces? Check. Cavernous wine cellar? Check. Ample parking included? Of course. Nanny suite? Obviously. Master bath that inspires hot green envy? Indeed.

This four-bedroom townhouse just off the intersection of 18th and Delancey clocks in with more than 4,000 square feet of living space. Not counting the parking for two out back. The interior design elements evoke exactly the luxury you expect at such a posh address. Lots of built-ins, custom millwork, deep baseboards and grand fireplaces. The finishes, too, are high-end. The kitchen features not one but two Bosch dishwashers, a six-burner Thermador stove and a Subzero refrigerator.
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Chesco’s “Le Petit Mont” Has Great Views for a Little Mountain

TREND photo courtesy Long and Foster.

TREND photo courtesy Long and Foster.

“Le Petit Mont” translates directly to “the little mountain.” It’s a quaint name for a ten-plus-acre property that includes vista views of practically all of Chester County and comes with a farmhouse, two separate garages, a two-stall barn, a run-out shed and extensive pastures and walking trails for your horses.

The farmhouse has been finished in the traditional style but includes modern upgrades. The first floor includes inside access to the first garage, which accommodates three cars. The kitchen is adjacent to a breakfast room and boasts three walls of inlaid cherry cabinetry and the usual granite/stainless steel luxury combo. It also features a handsome peninsula and several pantries. The living room and family room both include large fireplaces. The upstairs master has its own balcony and a custom, en-suite spa with a window seat. Three other bedrooms on the floor share the second full bath. A bonus room could be turned into a fifth bedroom or an office, according to the listing. The third floor is also ripe for a project. The listing suggests turning the open space to a game or media room. The basement is also finished and could easily home another full bath.
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