The updated Market8 rendering.
One of the six contenders for Philadelphia’s second casino license, Market8 — an investor group helmed by Ken Goldenberg and Ira Luber, among others — has just released a new vision of what it calls its “urban entertainment center” proposed for Eighth and Market. The announcement emphasizes the commitment to ground-floor retail and restaurants “on a newly beautified Market Street” (their optimism is boundless).
Ken Goldenberg says in the statement:
“We are designing the ground floor to fully engage walkers and commuters, recognizing not just how central our location is, but how critical this is to the vitality of this corridor. We will be opening up that level with transparency, doorways, tables and outdoor seating that will allow 8th and Market to become an attractive social place to meet for lunch, dinner, or coffee, and a place that will create energy and excitement all hours of the day and evening.”
Philadelphia, welcome to LoSo.
PHL Local Gaming, one of the six contenders for Philadelphia’s second casino license, has announced a bold plan for the Lower South Philadelphia area where they’d put their casino. A recent press release touts a family-friendly entertainment center that would be developed in “the area between the Stadium Complex, public park land, the FDR Park Golf Club, and the Delaware River.”
The center would include “attractions such as food-and-beverage and retail businesses, soccer fields, racquet sports, an indoor swimming pool, a zip-line park, rock-climbing facilities, a golf driving range, a dry ski/skateboarding park, a water park, and areas devoted to music and live entertainment.”
A rendering of LoSo Entertainment Center by PHL Local Gaming
Over at the Philly Post, Andrew Thompson is asking why the City of Philadelphia — in the midst of waiting for its second casino license — has not followed through on an assertion that it would do an independent economic impact study of SugarHouse. After all, experts tell Thompson it would take about a month to do such an assessment, so it isn’t a question of time.
But municipal musical chairs and forgotten conversations seem to be the problem now, four years after Terry Gillen first mentioned the idea to City Paper’s then-staff writer Isaiah Thompson. She later reversed course, saying the city was not doing an impact study after all — perhaps a miscommunication.
Daniel Keating, head of the construction company that bears his name and the lead contractor on the proposed Wynn Philadelphia casino resort, acknowledges that each of the six proposals for the remaining casino license in Philly has something to recommend it. But in the end, he says, the weaknesses of the other five outweigh their strengths, which is why he signed on as the contractor for the Wynn project.
“The three South Philly casinos are adequate in size, and their location is not as big a negative as some think,” Keating said in an hourlong interview at the Phoenix the other day. “They can handle the traffic they will generate at some times of the day. The problem is convincing us that South Philly wants another traffic generator.”
Yesterday there was a lot of union activity from the organized laborers of the area. Not long ago, we wrote about the latest in a long line of volleys between the Post Brothers–developers and managers of numerous buildings in the city–and building trade unions, which have been largely absent from the Post Bros.’ work sites (except as protesters).
The most recent dustup came when Post Brothers co-owner Matthew Pestronk told us residents were being videotaped by members of Local 98 as they walked in and out of Rittenhouse Hill, a Post Brothers property. Initially, Local 98 spokesperson Frank Keel was skeptical of the claims, but after seeing photos of the men involved, he conceded it was, indeed, union members–but they were only there for one day and only to monitor the placement of their protest signs on the lawn.
Subsequently, Pestronk sent us photographs of guys with videocameras outside the residence date marked from several different months of this year and last, suggesting it was not, in fact, a one-day union project.
Photo: Liz Spikol
Just as we were lauding Margate, NJ’s housing market and the changing perception of Atlantic City, today comes this headline on philly.com: “Bust to boom: Can strippers save Atlantic City?” Putting aside the groan-worthy pun, the headline not only implies that Atlantic City needs saving but that it’s gotten so desperate, it’s left to strippers to do it.
But the salacious headline is a bit of an overstatement. We’re just talking about one venue: a Scores club in the Trump Taj Mahal, which is far from the first time time the casinos have seen any skin. As the Associated Press’ Wayne Perry points out, both Revel and the Borgata have burlesque shows, while “dancers in bras and panties are common on gambling floors.” (You’re welcome.)
Photo: Liz Spikol
From the New York Times: “A scant 125 miles away, in and around this gambling mecca [of Atlantic City], are a clutch of Vietnamese cafes that arguably rank among the nation’s most authentic…”
From Next City: “Cleverly designed by the prominent New York landscape architecture firm Balmori Associates, the park consists of undulating berms bookended by two earthen mounds intended, Fung says, to riff on the boardwalk’s iconic dipping-and-rising roller coasters.”
Photo: Liz Spikol
Not enough people going to Atlantic City? Then the Atlantic City Alliance will bring AC to the people. The ”Live From AC” roadshow starts this weekend in Philly with a pop-up casino resort (15,000 lbs. and two stories) at the waterfront that includes “key AC experiences” all framed by the “DO AC” advertising campaign.
The Alliance is a nonprofit that markets the city to tourists, which has been an uphill battle in recent months. So the organization has partnered with BMF, a company that helps build brands with experiential marketing of this kind. This roadshow will also go to Baltimore and NYC.
In a statement, Atlantic City Alliance President Liza Cartmell said the goal of the roadshow is to ”introduce AC to people in a new way, create a social media buzz and represent all 12 casinos in key markets.” She said it’s an opportunity to engage “our target audience of fun seekers.” (Are there fun seekers in Philly? If so, where do they pass the time? Not on SEPTA, that’s for sure.)
Photo by SameOld2010" via Flickr.
Cedars Crossing. Photo via Naked Philly.
• Valley Forge casino revenue is up [Inquirer] • Home price gains bring sellers off the sidelines [AP] • Thousands of borrowers to get mortgage payments reduced [CNN Money] • Cedars Crossing Looks to be Finished. And It’s Really Orange. [Naked Philly] • Fitz4 condos finally appear in Graduate Hopsital [Philly Real Estate Blog] • [...]