Planners of second Philadelphia casino to prep site near sports stadiums

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Artist’s rendering of casino and hotel complex planned for 900 Packer Ave. site in South Philadelphia’s sports stadium district.

The developers of a casino and hotel complex in South Philadelphia’s sports stadium district have been granted permission to raze the Holiday Inn at the planned nine-acre construction site and start work on their project.

The partnership between Cordish Cos. and businessman Watche “Bob” Manoukian’s Greenwood Gaming & Entertainment Inc. received a permit Friday to build a complex with five restaurant spaces, nightclubs, and a parking garage at the 900 Packer Ave. site, according to the website of the Philadelphia Department of Licenses and Inspections.

The permit was issued a little more than two months after the operator of a rival venue, SugarHouse Casino, dropped an appeal of the gaming license granted to Cordish and Greenwood’s group following the enactment of a new state law that undercut the challenge. SugarHouse, in Philadelphia’s Fishtown section, is currently the city’s only licensed casino operator.

The South Philadelphia partnership, operating as Stadium Casino LLC, aims to start construction in 2018 and to open the complex in 2020, Cordish said in a statement this week. The developers had put a $600 million price tag on the project in the past.

The 200,000-square-foot complex is to include 205 hotel rooms, 2,200 slots, and more than 150 table games, Cordish said in its statement, which identifies the project as the Stadium Casino, rather than by its previous moniker, Philadelphia Live!

A Cordish spokeswoman did not immediately respond to an email asking whether the Philadelphia Live! branding has been retired.

Cordish operates two casinos in Florida and one in Maryland, and owns and operates Xfinity Live!, a dining and entertainment venue near the South Philadelphia stadiums. Greenwood is the owner and operator of Parx Casino in Bensalem.

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