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 by Anjan Chatterjee via Flickr.
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Photo: Liz Spikol
Next City’s journal Forefront came out this week with a story by Jake Blumgart titled “Has Atlantic City Reached the End?” Three years after Gov. Chris Christie called AC a “dying city” and vowed to turn it into the next Las Vegas, Blumgart paints a dark picture, examining the intersections between all the unpredictable factors the beleaguered city has to face, from gaming revenues to hurricanes to local and state politicians.
Unsurprisingly, Blumgart uses Revel as a symbol for so much of what’s wrong, but he also puts Hurricane Sandy at center-stage, ultimately weaving them together with the plight of an abandoned, decaying city like three fraying strands of a braid.
Is it Philly or is it Everett?
“Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria Jr. today announced details of an agreement with Las Vegas casino developer Steve Wynn that is expected to generate millions of dollars in new tax revenues.”
That’s how the article about a potential partnership between Steve Wynn and the town of Everett, Mass., begins, and the mayor is indeed feeling good. “We’re excited to bring this to the residents,” the mayor told Boston.com, though she didn’t mention that this–the “gleaming bronze resort casino”–is the same this as the gleaming bronze resort casino rendered for Philadelphia, nor that the plans to reinvigorate the Everett waterfront are the same as the plans to reinvigorate the Philadelphia waterfront.
AC boardwalk early morning in the 1960s. Via Neat Stuff Blog
Oyster.com, the cutely named hotel partner of the Travel Channel, published a list of the nine best boardwalks in the U.S., and look who’s sittin’ pretty–our own A.C.
This is some deserved good news for the city; even though these lists are kind of goofy, people pay attention to them. AC’s boardwalk beat out Venice Beach and Coney Island, among others. The blurb says: “Though Atlantic City was hit hard by Hurricane Sandy, loyalists are helping this shore spot bounce back with a vengeance.” Make it so, Philadelphians. Make it so.
Isn't that...Everett, Mass.?
Is there anything more delicious than a critic who’s ticked off? When the New Yorker‘s Anthony Lane hates a movie, you know you’re in for a really fun read. Inquirer architecture critic Inga Saffron takes the gloves off plenty, like a good critic should, and it’s always fun–and often a much-needed reality check.