The Wynn Philadelphia casino proposal would be a better Central Delaware fit if river access was improved, the parking garage took up less space, its roof was open for river-viewing and the entire design was more “contextually compatible” with the region, the Central Delaware Advocacy Group told the state gaming board in a recent letter.
CDAG, an organization made up of representatives from river-front neighborhoods and other organizations, advocates for the city's long-range plans for the waterfront, The Central Delaware Master Plan. In the letter sent to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board last week, CDAG states it “represents no particular disposition toward gaming and does not oppose, nor does it support, the Wynn Philadelphia Resort proposal.” Members voted to send the letter, signed by Chairman Matt Ruben, to PGCB in hopes the board would urge Wynn to make the changes, should Wynn be granted the license.
Wynn would not be bound by the Central Delaware Master Plan should he be granted the license. If that happens, the city would place special casino zoning on the Richmond Street and Delaware Avenue parcel, which overrides underlying zoning, including the overlay. But Wynn has met with city officials – and CDAG – to talk about the Master Plan, and Wynn representatives have said they are largely following its recommendations.
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.