State Supreme Court Appoints 'Special Master' For SugarHouse

The state Supreme Court just ruled that SugarHouse, a casino project proposed for the banks of the Delaware riverfront in Fishtown, can have a "special master" to mediate disputes with the city on development issues.  Mayor Nutter has denied that his staff intentionally delayed the SugarHouse project based on his opposition to the casino's location.  The city Law Department had argued to the court that a special master was not needed.

You can read the Supreme Court's press release on the special master here.  You can read the court's ruling here.

The court appointed Judge John W. Herron of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas to be the special master.  It also ordered the city to issue to SugarHouse without condition a foundation permit, the first step in construction.

"We are delighted that the Supreme Court granted the relief we requested," SugarHouse spokeswoman Leigh Whitaker said. "We look forward to working cooperatively with the City to move our project forward."

UPDATE, 5:35 pm:  Nutter spokesman Doug Oliver just said the mayor was "somewhat disappointed" by the ruling.  "But from a practical standpoint, I don’t imaging it will make much of a difference because the city has held that there are no barriers to moving forward with the development," Oliver added.