SugarHouse Casino plan approved

June 24, 2009 3:51:09 PM PDT
The Philadelphia City Planning Commission approved a revised plan for the SugarHouse Casino on Wednesday.An interim slots parlor will rise from a plot of land at Delaware and Frankford Avenues in Northern Liberties.

About a dozen anti-casino activists showed up at the meeting.

One after another they accused planning commission members of being influenced by money from casino supporters.

"This hearing is a farce. A redesigned SugarHouse casino slots parlor, if built, would be a clear testament to poor city planning, assuming there's any planning going on at all," said Lily Cavanaugh of Casino Free Philadelphia.

Their demonstration, throwing bags of fake money at the commissioners, seemed to have little impact.

At the end of the more than three-hour meeting, the commissioners voted 4 to 2 in favor of SugarHouse's updated plan.

Under the newly approved plan, SugarHouse will be allowed to use the former incinerator site north of Shackamaxon Street as a temporary parking lot for an iterim, 1700-slot casino while a larger parking structure and larger casino are being built.

The new plan also adds more walking paths from Delaware Avenue down to and along the river.

Financing for this project is still a big question. Developers say they hope to open what they call the 'interim' casino about 10 months after construction actually starts.

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