Nutter revokes SugarHouse building license

January 24, 2008 6:37:47 PM PST
Mayor Michael Nutter threw a roadblock in the path of SugarHouse Casino development plans targeted for the riverfront in Fishtown-Northern Liberties.

Nutter revoked the developer's building license. He said the license approved during the waning days of the Street administration was possibly railroaded through and SugarHouse must face a new review to move forward.

"This is not just about money. It's about process and procedure, and how we conduct ourselves in the city of Philadelphia," Nutter said at a news conference.

A zoning measure was introduced in city council aimed at the Foxwood's casino development on the South Philadelphia riverfront. That move would force a casino developer to meet certain conditions before they can start building.

Mayor Nutter's slap at the SugarHouse project has casino opponents cheering and feeling empowered.

Nutter invited the owners of the SugarHouse Casino to reapply for a license for the waterfront site so the city could examine the effect on traffic, roadways, stormwater and other infrastructure.

Greg Carlin, Chief Executive Officer of SugarHouse developer HSP, issued the following statement:

We fully expect the City, regardless of a change in its administration, to honor all of its contractual obligations. We have been advised by our legal team that the City's action to rescind our submerged lands license is contrary to law given the pending litigation surrounding that license. It is regrettable that this action has overturned a well reasoned and thought out decision by the former Director of Commerce Department, Stephanie Naidoff. Ms. Naidoff followed all legal requirements and heard all of the evidence for and against the issuance of our submerged land license before issuing her decision, upon which we have relied. We are disappointed by these actions and will seek the appropriate relief immediately.