Members of the Central Delaware Advocacy Group don't particularly like SugarHouse Casino's new expansion plan. But they didn't like the old version, either.
So, after mulling things over at a Thursday night meeting, CDAG members decided to draft a letter to the Philadelphia City Planning Commission – whose approval SugarHouse needs in order to proceed – listing the ways in which the new plan hits and misses the marks established under the city's vision for the Central Delaware's future. The letter did not state a preference for one plan or the other.
Both the old and new plans leave the SugarHouse property as a very large “super block” rather than dividing it up into human-scale, neighborhood sized blocks, said board member Laura Lanza. “There is no street extension where one ought to be,” she said. “This development is antithetical to what we would like along the waterfront.”
A lot of the CDAG discussion centered around parking.
This is one area where some Board Members believed the original expansion plan was better, as it required SugarHouse to eliminate all but 10 percent of the 100,000-square-foot parking lot when it built the garage.
Originally, that garage was to be 10 stories atop a deck of expanded casino space. Under the current proposal, it would be a ground floor plus six stories of auto storage. Back in September, when SugarHouse made an information-only presentation to the Philadelphia City Planning Commission, Deputy Mayor Alan Greenberger told the PCPC, of which he is chair, that the administration thinks the longer retention of more surface lot space is a good trade for reducing the garage height.
The city had been meeting with SugarHouse to talk about the height of the garage and other issues.
Karp is drafting the CDAG letter. Members will suggest edits, and it will be sent to the planning commission before Tuesday's meeting, at which the proposed new expansion plan is expected to be discussed.
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