Sunday, January 25, 2015

SugarHouse Still Seeks Parking On Publicly-Owned Pier

It's been more than a month but two things haven't changed: The planned SugarHouse casino in Fishtown still wants to rent a publicly-owned pier for temporary parking. And the casino's investors still don't have a deal with the Delaware River Waterfront Corp., which manages the land for the city.

SugarHouse Still Seeks Parking On Publicly-Owned Pier

SugarHouse is building a casino on this lot at Delaware Avenue and Shackamaxon Street.
SugarHouse is building a casino on this lot at Delaware Avenue and Shackamaxon Street.

It's been more than a month but two things haven't changed:  The planned SugarHouse casino in Fishtown still wants to rent a publicly-owned pier for temporary parking.  And the casino's investors still don't have a deal with the Delaware River Waterfront Corp., which manages the land for the city.

Alan Greenberger, a DRWC board member and executive director of the City Planning Commission, told his fellow board members this morning that negotiations continue with the casino investors, who hope to be open for business by next summer.  Their plan is to initially surround the first phase of the casino with surface lots and then start building a parking garage, perhaps in mid-2011.  The investors want to rent the pier near Spring Garden Street for temporary parking during the garage construction.  That pier was once home to the city's trash incinerator.

"Nothing's been finalized," Greenberger said of the negotiations.  The City Planning Commission approved the SugarHouse plan of development last month, the last major bureaucratic hurdle for construction to start.

Matt Ruben, president of the Northern Liberties Neighbors Association, said his group considers the parking lot now on the pier to be a blight on the only sizable chunk of publicly-owned land on the central Delaware riverfront.  "I think there's a risk here of tying up that site for at least three and possibly six years," Ruben warned about the negotiations for casino parking.

Steve Wexler of the Central Delaware Advocacy Group, asked the board to avoid using the pier for casino parking unless no other option was available.

Greenberger said it was clearly in the best interest of the city and the surrounding neighbors to see the pier developed but noted that could take a few years, as part of a larger master plan being drawn up for the riverfront.  "It's a special site," Greenberger said. "I think we all want to see it developed."

About this blog
William Bender, a Drexel graduate who landed at the Daily News in 2007, has covered everything from South Philly mobsters to doomsday hucksters. He occasionally writes about local food trucks and always eats everything on his plate, whether it be a bloody rib eye or a corrupt politician. E-mail tips to benderw@phillynews.com
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Jenny DeHuff is a 2005 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where she cut her teeth in journalism. A South Philly transplant from New England, she joined the Daily News City Hall Bureau in 2013. For the past several years, she has worked as an investigative reporter exposing corruption in suburban politics, covering sometimes ghastly criminal court cases and following the people’s money and how its spent. In addition to being a dogged news hound, she enjoys reading and writing about travel, animals, Irish whiskey and aviation. E-mail tips to dehuffj@phillynews.com
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David Gambacorta, has been a reporter with the Daily News since 2005, covering crime, police corruption and all of the other bizarre things that happen in Philadelphia. Now he’s covering the 2015 mayor’s race, because he enjoys a good circus just as much as the next guy. He’s always looking to get a cup of coffee. Send news tips and other musings on life to gambacd@phillynews.com
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