Remember that game of Pong on the Cira Centre? Frank Lee helped create that Guinness Record winning, world’s largest video game. As Associate Professor of Drexel University’s Media Arts and Design program, he is hoping to take the isolation out of technology, and recreate the social and physical interaction we used to have as kids through his unique game designs.
Watch this talk to understand just how he plans to transform the world of gaming and see some clips from his biggest successes yet—the largest video game in the world and a very poorly played game of Tetris.
Today Market8, one of the five remaining contenders for Philadelphia’s casino license, announced new endorsements for its project: those of the Philadelphia NAACP; the Urban League of Philadelphia (ULP); the Urban Affairs Coalition (UAC); and the African-American Chamber of Commerce of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.
The endorsements shouldn’t be too much of a surprise, at least coming from ULP and UAC, with whom Market8 worked to create an inclusion strategy to benefit members of the community who are not generally included in the success of such ventures.
The NAACP’s Jerry Mondesire was impressed by the plan: “I don’t know of any other organization doing a major project that has put this much thought into its inclusion plan,” he said, explaining his organization’s endorsement.
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It’s not exactly the Kennedy assassination or 9/11, but Steve Wynn’s decision to withdraw his bid for Philadelphia’s second casino license has people hazarding all kinds of guesses as to the reason for his departure — some of them better than others. We’ve created a plausibility index from 1 to 5 with 5 being “Very Plausible” and 1 being “Oh Please.”
• Competition with New York. Wynn said the recent approval to expand casino gambling in New York State was a key factor in his decision. But the NY casinos aren’t going to be anywhere near Philadelphia; the legislation was motivated by a desire to generate jobs in upstate New York. The Times reports that developers are expressing particular interest in the Catskills. Was Wynn really worried that the Catskills would steal patrons from Fishtown? On the other hand, Wynn was hoping the casino would serve as a resort destination that would draw people from all over the country, and perhaps even internationally because that’s the scale he typically works with. If something very grand is ultimately built in New York, will that be competition at some point down the line? Perhaps. Rating: 2
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Big news that just hit the Property inbox:
Statement from Wynn Resorts regarding its developments in Pennsylvania
Las Vegas, November 11, 2013 — The Wynn Resorts Board of Directors recently met to carefully examine the feasibility and opportunities associated with the company’s domestic development in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. At this time, the Board has decided that the best course for the company is to pursue business opportunities elsewhere.
The board took a host of factors into consideration, including the Philadelphia market performance over the past year and the competition which will result from the recent approval of gaming in the State the New York. Consequently, the company will withdraw its licensing applications in Pennsylvania.
Here’s how he once felt:
From Wynn’s website. With love.
This is a little bit of déjà vu for those who remember Foxwoods, Wynn’s last flirtation with Philadelphia gaming, in 2010. He pulled out of that deal, too. At the time, the company released a statement that said:
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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.”
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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
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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.
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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.”
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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.
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