The state Supreme Court spent 100 minutes today listening to SugarHouse, a casino proposed for the Delaware riverfront in Fishtown, fight with the city and state about whether it can build on 11 acres of state-owned "riparian" land. SugarHouse says the state, in a law passed 101 years ago, gave the city control of the riparian land, which is sometimes also called "submerged lands" but in this case is a lot of mud, rubble and broken-down old piers.
All this got us thinking about the the sense of optimism that filled SugarHouse Chairman Neil Bluhm of Chicago 17 months ago when he was one of five applicants for two state casino licenses in Philadelphia. Let's go back to what Bluhm told the state Gaming Control Board on Nov. 13, 2006:
"We believe that there will be no question that we will get riparian rights."
"...there is a long history of granting riparian rights to developers along the water."