By Peter Gleason
It looks like Philly’s second casino is finally becoming a reality.
And it’s trip from the planning stage to the nuts and bolts stage occurred yesterday in Harrisburg:
South Philadelphia’s long-delayed Live! Hotel & Casino Philadelphia will be up and operating in two years, just a few hundred feet from the outfield wall of Citizens Bank Park, according to its developer.
Joseph Weinberg, managing director of Stadium Casino LLC, told state regulators that demolition of a former Holiday Inn at 900 Packer Ave. will begin in a week or so and construction of the $700 million casino and hotel would begin early next year.
“We really look at this as a world-class integrated development,” Weinberg told the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board in a presentation before the board agreed to a two-year extension of the project’s deadline, to December 2020, to begin slot-machine operations.
The Packer Avenue site is on the edge of the city’s stadium complex, which Weinberg said is the only place in the nation where four major-league teams play their home games: the Phillies, the Eagles, the Sixers, and the Flyers.
“Our vision for this project is that it becomes part of what really would be one of the most unique sports/gaming/hospitality destinations in the country,” said Weinberg, an executive with the Cordish Cos. of Baltimore, a developer of casino and entertainment facilities, including the Xfinity Live! center on Pattison Avenue in the Stadium District.
Cordish announced last week that it had acquired sole control of Stadium Casino LLC, buying out its partner, Greenwood Gaming & Entertainment Inc., the operator of Parx Casino in Bucks County.