Its huge site, located at Front Street & Pattison Avenue, contains a major warehouse ready for retrofitting into a full-blown casino without the need for new construction.
PHL Local Gaming’s VP, community relations John O’Riordan said, “The casino will be delivering 600 jobs, $51.9 million in state/city taxes and direct payroll, $22.8 million in indirect/induced payroll; and $15 million in purchases of goods and services during those six months.”
If successful in its bid for the available casino-management license in Philadelphia, PHL Local Gaming LLC plans to open “Casino Revolution,” a $428-million, four-star quality “destination-caliber,” 250-room hotel and gaming facility. The casino will offer 2,400 slots, 105 table games, a steak house, a coffee/espresso bar, an Italian restaurant, a 300-seat buffet, a 156-seat café and a covered, 1,600-car garage.
O’Riordan also emphasized, in addition to the early revenues and economic impact, the availability of the 25-acre site would enable PHL Local Gaming to expand, over time, from 2,400 slots, in its first full year of operation, to the Commonwealth’s legally permissible 5,000-slot maximum.
This would be welcome news to cash-starved city and school budgets and unlike most of the other five bidders. “At that level,” said O’Riordan, “PHL Local Gaming would increase its total city and state tax payments by $180.9 million and also produce a commensurate increase in casino-related jobs, as compared to other bidders.”
PHL Local Gaming’s tour confirmed the pledges as press and community bill toured the huge complex by bus. The tour also drove through surrounding South Philadelphia neighborhoods. Company officials emphasized the casino’s lack of intrusiveness on residential areas, the closest of which is 0.8 miles from the PHL Local Gaming site. They also described, during the tour, the proposed casino’s exceptionally convenient access to I-95 and I-76.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board will take public testimony from city officials at the Pennsylvania Convention Center Sep. 24 to hear their views. Its consensus will be the city welcomes a second casino, wherever the site. This meeting is scheduled for 11 a.m. in Room 108 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center and can be seen live from the Gaming Board’s website at gamingcontrolboard.pa.gov.
Another date will be set for the Board during which the six applicants will appear to answer questions from the board. Written comments on the remaining license or the bidders can be made through Sep. 30.
The other casino bids come from: Market8, Market East Associates, 8th & Market Streets; Hollywood Casino Philadelphia, PA Gaming Ventures, 700 Packer Avenue; The Provence, Tower Entertainment, LLC, 400 N. Broad Street; Wynn Philadelphia, Wynn PA, Inc., 2001 Beach Street and 2001 through 2005 Richmond Street; Live! Hotel and Casino, Stadium Casino LLC, 900 Packer Avenue.
At the Procacci-Lomax site, tour visitors were shown precisely how the existing warehouse facility would be retrofitted for casino operation. PHL Local Gaming’s architect Richard Gardner, of Hnedak Bobo Group, unveiled nine renderings that reinforced the company’s commitment to “four-star-quality” hotel accommodations and casino amenities.
At one point in the presentation, PHL Local Gaming’s CEO Joseph Procacci pointed out that another advantage of the existing warehouse facility is that it is environmentally clean, having cleared all environmental auditing prior to its purchase by Procacci Brothers, in 1986.
“Often,” said Procacci, “unanticipated environmental issues can lead to costly delays in construction schedules. Our warehouse, we’re confident, presents no such problems. We and our construction management company, L.F. Driscoll, firmly believe we can have our casino open within nine months of final approval, six months earlier than other bidders would be able to do. Given the importance of job creation in our area, that should be good news for the Commonwealth and for the City.”