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A casino development hits a snag, but for once it’s not Revel p2

8/28/2015 | Real Estate Blog

We are talking about Philadelphia’s second casino and the problems that developer Stadium Casino L.L.C. have run into since November. It was in mid-November that the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board chose Live! Hotel and Casino above a handful of competitors for the city’s second and last casino license.

The developer has run into a few legal issues along the way and now is faced with a zoning issue. At a meeting of the planning commission last week, the developer presented a detailed plan for the casino but did not ask for any zoning changes — yet. This meeting, it seems was about bringing the commission up to speed and answering any preliminary questions. It was inevitable that the green space issue would come up.

Currently, the plan includes a green roof with more than two acres of green space. Zoning, however, requires green space at street level. In an effort to mitigate the shortfall, the developer has struck deals with neighborhood groups to invest in the surrounding communities.

First, before the project is completed, the developer will spend $175,000 on community projects. After the casino opens, the dollar amount will increase, topping $750,000 by the third year of operation.

There will likely be more meetings and more discussions of whether the zoning code should be changed or whether the project should be granted exceptions or variances.

The initial plan was to have the doors open by mid-2017. The total cost is expected to be in the $400 million range, and the casino will feature 2,000 slot machines and 125 table games. The Holiday Inn that currently occupies the site will be renovated and integrated into the new facility.

Sources:, “Planning official: Philly casino proposal short of space,” Harold Brubaker, Aug. 19, 2015, “Stadium-district casino wins new Philly license,” Sean Carlin,¬†Aug. 24, 2015