Morning Headlines: Market8 Gets Three Political Endorsements

Rendering of Market8.

Rendering of Market8.

Market8 has been endorsed yet again, this time by state and local legislators: Rep. John Taylor, Rep. Michael O’Brien, and Councilman Mark Squilla. They join a line of supporters that includes the Washington West Civic Association and the Philadelphia NAACP.

The casino bidder’s presentation at last month’s hearings before the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board made a stronger impression than those of the other contenders.

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Market8 Gets Thumbs Up From Wash West Civic Association

Rendering of Market8.

Rendering of Market8.

One of the remaining bidders for Philadelphia’s casino license just got some local support in addition to its last endorsements: a blessing from the Washington Square West Civic Association. A recent tally among the organization’s board of directors resulted in a unanimous vote in favor of the project.

The association’s zoning chair Jonathan Broh cited the project’s goals as encouraging growth and revitalization on the East Market Street and Chesnut Street:

“MARKET8’s numerous restaurants, concert venue, and casino will bring much-needed activity to Market Street,” Broh said. “This project, along with plans to extend the casino’s Rewards Program into the business community, will complement other planned developments in the area and catalyze positive growth.”

Part of what swayed the civic association to Market8’s side is the project’s promise of a yearly $1 million investment into the community. According to the press release, these funds would go to general neighborhood upkeep and enrichment:

maintain and upgrade services, make physical enhancements and promote the economic vitality of small businesses on and around East Market Street.

Market8 Group: ‘Understands Dynamics of African-American Community’

updated.market8

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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Market8 Releases New Rendering for Casino Complex

The updated Market8 rendering.

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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Inga Saffron: Steve Wynn Should Get the P.T. Barnum Award

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.

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Design Advocacy Group Bashes Bart But Says Casino Should Be Downtown

The Design Advocacy Group is a collaborative of very smart people: urban planners, architects, designers and likeminded guardians of the aesthetic who advocate for quality in the built environment. In other words, if a developer is planning something horrendously ugly or damaging to public life in Philadelphia, they’ll hear about it from the DAG.

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