Thursday, September 11, 2008


Why is Foxwoods insistent on putting their Philadelphia casino in an inconvenient and disruptive location?

First, they wanted to stick one on Delaware Avenue where the traffic already stands still at any given moment for no reason at all. Not to mention, there's very little access to highways from that proposed location. Oh, and it's 2 blocks from a major residential area -- like my house. Thanks alot people.

That option hasn't been ruled out, but now after 2 years of everybody complaining, parading, petitioning, protesting, etc ... they are re-considering this location.

The news is now reporting that Foxwoods is considering putting their casino right smack dab in the middle of the city, at The Gallery. The Gallery is a poor excuse for a shopping mall, although it's quite large --3 levels of shopping over 2-3 city blocks. It also houses a very busy regional rail stop underground, where I guess you could say there's a fourth level of shopping.

All of this shopping sounds much more exciting than it actually is. Discount shopping, high end shopping, bizarre bazaars are all great things, but The Gallery defies description. I always feel like I'm on the verge of getting mugged or attacked when I'm there. And for what? I can't say there's anything I need or want at The Gallery. Regardless of what I think of The Gallery, people do shop there. It's also connected to the convention center, still only blocks away from major residential areas, City Hall and several thriving businesses (small and large). I'd like to see The Gallery turn into something better, but I don't think the casino is the answer.

The Foxwoods folks have gotten quite a bit of heat over the traffic problems their casino would exacerbate in the original proposed location, so I can understand that the accessibility of public transportation at The Gallery site is an attractive feature. But .... if you don't take public transportation, forget trying to park. There's nothing ... not on the street and not even in one of the $25/day garages. It just doesn't seem practical to put a casino in this spot.

All of that being said, I'd rather have them put the casino at The Gallery than 2 blocks from my neighborhood. But truthfully ... neither spot is good.

So I ask: Why, in the name of common sense, can't they find something in the city but not in an overcrowded area? There's a good mile (plus) stretch of undeveloped land south of the city right on the waterfront -- and the other side of the road too. There's other land in the city along the river (or not along the river) without having to open something in already-overcrowded areas.

Already, I'm not too thrilled with Foxwoods. They've done nothing to demonstrate that they'll be good corporate citizens in our city, and I think it's important to do more than just generate revenue. If they neighborhoods and other businesses are sacrificed for the development of the Foxwoods franchise, then what good has been gained for Philadelphia?

Certainly there must be a win-win location that is good for the people and businesses already inhabiting the city, and for Foxwoods. Let's hope somebody soon comes to their senses.


Los said...

I don't think they can go any further south in Philly because of the casino in Chester - they had an agreement that no casino could be built within a certain radius of the Chester casino.

schue said...

I don't really want to see a casino where the gallery is, because the area just can't handle extra cars/people. However, it would be nice to clean up that shady stretch of market street. it's creepy underground and above ground at any time of the day.

Sandi said...

$25/day garages!

That's 1 hour in a garage in New York.