Casino Plans Revised, Nutter Approves

SugarHouse Casino announced their revised building plan to address traffic and waterfront access issues Monday at City Hall.

The new plan, which Mayor Nutter supports, downsizes the building to a single-level casino instead of the initial two stories. An extensive surface parking will also be developed, and in lieu of a promenade over the Delaware, there will be a landside walkway.

The cost to put these new plans into action? $140 million.

SugarHouse is hoping to have the first phase of the casino, which teeters on the border of Northern Liberties and Fishtown, up and running within the next year. Soon after, they will begin development on a 10-story parking garage as well as additions to the gambling area.

“It is in all of our interests – and the interests of the taxpayers – to get this facility open as quickly as possible,” said Mayor Michael Nutter.

The construction would create 500 jobs and when the casino opens in 2010, there will be 500 permanent jobs, according to Mayor Nutter.

Finishing out the casino would create another 600 constructions jobs and 500-600 additional employees to work in the casino, he added.

SugarHouse predicts the city would get an infusion of $11 million in host fees annually when the temporary building opens and that would go up to $18 million once the casino is finished.

Opponents have challenged the SugarHouse location, concerned about the public's access to the river.

Mayor Nutter said he was worried too initially, but was happy that developers made key changes the city asked for.

SugarHouse developers make their case before the State Gaming Board on Wednesday.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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