Property Asks: “What Do You Think About 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

A rendering of LoSo Entertainment Center by PHL Local Gaming

The name currently in the works is “LoSo Entertainment Center” — begging the question: Is “LoSo” (like SoHo?) a viable neighborhood name for Lower South Philly? Is the entertainment center an appealing idea? I asked a few people in and around Rittenhouse Square late this morning.

A New Jersey-based nanny — who, like everyone else I spoke with, didn’t want her name used — thought the name was a great idea, as was the entertainment center. She said it would create more jobs for people.

Her companion, a fellow nanny from Northeast Philadelphia, also cited job creation as a bonus of the Center, saying it was “very hard enough to find jobs.”

Clearly, PHL Local Gaming has done its homework. The company’s president, Joseph Canfora, has spread the word: “The LoSo Entertainment Center is expected to generate 598 direct and indirect jobs, which would grow to a total of 6,059 direct and indirect employment opportunities in its tenth year of operation.”

 Photo by Angelly Carrion

Photo by Angelly Carrion

A retired hospital clerk, pictured above with her lovely smile, thought LoSo was a fine name as well. A South Philly denizen, she too mentioned unemployment relief as one of the pros of the center’s possible development. When I asked her if she thought the proximity between a casino and family-oriented entertainment center was okay, she had no qualms about it.

On the other hand, a stay-at-home mom sitting on the grass with her baby didn’t think the casino/family entertainment center grouping was appropriate, even after learning they would not be in the same building. As for the name LoSo, she felt neutral on the matter, adding that perhaps PHL Local Gaming could make the center’s name “more descriptive.”

A second South Philly resident, who was enjoying a snack, identified himself as a retired boxer. He was all for the development of LoSo in the Food Distribution area of South Philadelphia and saw no problem with the name.

Another NEastie finishing up his food near the center of the park was indifferent to the LoSo moniker. A valet supervisor at a nearby luxury hotel, he felt pretty neutral about the whole project, in fact. But he did seem impressed by the list of the entertainment center’s features.