Casino Zoning Proposed For Gallery

It's been five weeks since Foxwoods, a casino approved by the state for the Delaware riverfront in South Philly, offered to move to the Gallery at 11th and Market Streets.  City Councilman Frank DiCicco, who had opposed the South Philly location, introduced zoning legislation today that would allow Foxwoods to convert Gallery space for the casino.  But DiCicco and Mayor Nutter, who also opposed the South Philly site, were quick to say the legislation doesn't mean the Gallery is a done deal for Foxwoods.

DiCicco said Foxwoods, if the zoning changes are approved, will still have to gain approval from the City Planning Commission for its project plan.  That would take a "minimum of five to six months" from today, he said, adding that the legislation is a "good faith effort" to show Foxwoods it should come up with plans for the Gallery.

Community groups from nearby Chinatown have been complaining that they have yet to see any plans or sketches for what a casino at the Gallery might look like.  Nutter said his staff has asked "on a number of occasions" for something from Foxwoods to show the community.  "The bottom line here is you can't get approval on something if we can't see it, understand it, look at it and test the assumptions," Nutter said.