One of our newest neighbors is bringing new meaning to “Borrowing a cup of sugar” from the house next door.
The SugarHouse Casino. Not what you would expect us to write about in our “Meet Your Neighbors” spot of our newsletter, huh? Well, this neighbor quite literally sits on one of the sweetest pieces of Real Estate in Philadelphia. They are located on the rivers edge overlooking the Ben Franklin Bridge to the South and the winding Delaware River bank from the North. SugarHouse’s waterfront view were held hostage for decades by an unmanaged, pollution ravaged, and ignored site that was once the location of a long forgotten sugar refinery in use from 1881-1984.
Ironically the news that SugarHouse was moving to the neighborhood was not so sweet, at least not according to the neighbors, community associations, and Casino-Free Philadelphia members who feared the worst would happen if a casino took up residence at the old refinery site. For the people who live in the riverside communities such as Old City, Northern Liberties, Fishtown, and Port Richmond, we had been looking at the SugarHouse site for the past couple of years with mixed emotions. Our SugarHouse neighbor was under a significant amount of scrutiny from the City of Brotherly Love.
With the many proposals, the city red tape, and countless protests behind them, the SugarHouse Casino opened their doors in October welcoming the community with open arms even though they were not overwhelmingly supported. We stopped by to check out the new neighbor. We thought we’d ask to “borrow a cup of sugar”. Since our office and home is a stone’s throw from the casino, we drive by often only to report that the parking lot seems to be filled with plenty of cars and people enjoying the entertainment being offered.
* 45,000 square feet of gaming floor
* A mix of the newest slot machines
* Live table games, including: o Blackjack o Craps o Roulette o Mini Baccarat o Pai Gow Poker o Three-card Poker o Four-card Poker
So, has everyone shaken hands and made amends with the casino? Well, not exactly. The community still launches negative comments about what the future holds for Philadelphia and criticism has been heard on the streets about everything from being a lackluster architectural specimen to failing to cater to a high end audience. The positive comments are from those that love gaming as a form of entertainment and from those that simply see SugarHouse as a riverfront pioneer with the revenue to build a walkway and bike path behind the casino that provides public access to the long forgotten majestic Delaware River. Perhaps The SugarHouse Casino development can be the catalyst that will really sweeten up Philadelphia’s most neglected feature.
We hope you enjoy our pictorial introduction of our featured neighbor. If you have not visited, we recommend it. Even if you do not gamble, you can make SugarHouse one stop as you tour Northern Liberties, Liberties Walk, and visit us The Somers at our office at 1033 N 2nd Street, 5th Floor of the oval shaped building in the Piazza.
A Riverside Retreat at…SugarHouse Casino
[image of Sugar Refinery via PhilaPlace.org]
Originally posted on The Philadelphia Real Estate Blog