SugarHouse Casino Construction Takes Key Step Forward

SugarHouse just received a foundation permit to build a casino at this Fishtown riverfront lot.

SugarHouse, a casino proposed for the banks of the Delaware River in Fishtown, picked up its foundation permit from the Department of Licenses & Inspections today, the first step in getting construction moving.  The state Supreme Court on Tuesday appointed a "special master" to mediate disputes after SugarHouse complained in January that Mayor Nutter's administration, which doesn't favor their state-approved location, had been purposely stalling the project.  One of the issues cited in the request for the special master was the foundation permit.  You can read the SugarHouse press release about the permit here.

Mayor Nutter, under growing political pressure from Gov. Rendell and the General Assembly to get casino construction under way in the city, has been saying that his administration would not stand in the way.  He told a lunch crowd at the Union League today that the city's five-year financial plan counts on $23 million in local gaming taxes in the fiscal year that starts in July 2011.

Terry Gillen, Nutter's chief adviser on casino issues, told PhillyClout the special master played no role in the issuance of the foundation permit since both sides haven't even met with him yet. The permit was available in January, she said.  "I don’t know why they have been sitting on this for two months," Gillen said. "We had urged them several times to move along and get their foundation permit."