PlanPhilly

Olde Richmond Civic supports Wynn casino

The state gaming board is now expected to award its endorsement to one of the six casino applicants - in the form of an operating license - early next year.

The Olde Richmond Civic Association voted 191-20 in support of the Wynn Casino proposal for Delaware Avenue at a Monday night meeting.

"The voting result speaks for itself," said Olde Richmond's Phillip Stoltzfus. "Olde Richmond residents reacted positively to the creation of jobs and restored public access to the Delaware River."

“On behalf of the entire Wynn Philadelphia team, we sincerely thank the residents and ORCA for this endorsement of our resort application,” said Terry McKenna, executive vice president of Keating Consulting, which is assisting Wynn Resorts on the project, in a press statement.

Stoltzfus said some residents did raise concerns: Traffic impact, critiques of the design or layout of the plan, and the opinion of some that the casino would be isolated or disconnected from the Riverwards and the city in general.

Fishtown Neighbors Association, the New Kensington Community Development Corporation and Port Richmond On Patrol and Civic have also endorsed Wynn's plan for 2,500 slot machines,100 game tables, a hotel and spa, a 30,000-square foot nightclub, and green space including a dog park and skating rink.

But when it comes to the six proposed Philadelphia casinos, the endorsement that matters most is that of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.

“The Board hopes to be in a position to make a decision sometime in early 2014,” said PGCB spokesman Richard McGarvey. This date has been pushed back a bit from the original estimate of late 2013.

The competitors in addition to Wynn are:

The Provence, proposed by Tower Entertainment, proposed for 400 N. Broad Street.

Casino Revolution, by PHL Local Gaming, for 3333 South Front Street.

Hollywood Casino, by PA Gaming Ventures, for 700 Packer Avenue.

Market8, by Market East Associations, for 8th and Market streets.

Live! Hotel and Casino, proposed by Stadium Casino, for 900 Packer Avenue.

Other proposals have also won endorsements from the communities in which they would be located, or other organizations.

PGCB staff have been vetting each proposal, looking at financial viability and the ability to build the proposed casino.

The board will also consider public input received at hearings held earlier this year in Philadelphia, and written comments, which they are still accepting. When asked if the board will consdier votes like the one ORCA just took matter, McGarvey said civic/neighborhood groups can submit written comments to the board. To submit comments, go here.  The page hasn't been changed since hearings were held earlier this year, but it lists the address and fax number for written comments. There is also a form lower on the page that allows comments to be entered and sent electronically.

Before making its decision, the PBCB will  hold another public hearing, called the suitability hearing. McGarvey said that is expected to happen late in 2013, most likely in Philadelphia. In this hearing, each of the applicants will appear before the board to answer board members'  questions.


About the author

Kellie Patrick Gates, Waterfront, casinos, planning reporter

Kellie Patrick Gates writes about planning, neighborhood development and the Central Delaware Waterfront. A journalist for more than two decades, she  worked for daily newspapers in Central Pennsylvania, Upstate New York and South Florida before coming to Philadelphia in 2003 to write for the Inquirer. Her work has appeared on PlanPhilly since 2007, and she also writes Love, the Inquirer's weekly wedding column. A native of Elk County, Pa., Kellie lives with her husband, Gary, and their dog and two cats.

Follow her on Twitter @KelliePGates



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