Clout: Other players in city casino game?

Posted: April 20, 2012

DEVELOPER Bart Blatstein made a big splash last week when he announced his intention to seek a casino license to operate on the site of the Inquirer/Daily News building.

But Blatstein is not the only developer interested in the city's second casino license.

Rob Zuritzky, of Parkway Corp., and Ken Goldenberg, of The Goldenberg Group, both confirmed yesterday that they have taken preliminary steps in exploring casino-license applications.

Zuritzky said one possible location would be a surface parking lot his company runs on North Broad Street, across Callowhill Street from the Inquirer/Daily News Building Blatstein bought for $22.7 million last year.

The papers and Philly.com are moving to the north side of Market Street at 8th Street by July.

Goldenberg is considering a casino as part of an upscale shopping and hotel development on the south side of Market Street on the same block, the location where he once planned the "DisneyQuest" entertainment complex in the late 1990s.

With the state House set to consider legislation in two weeks to allow bidding statewide, except in Pittsburgh, for what is now a Philadelphia-only casino license, local political leaders are lobbying for the revenue and jobs that license would create here.

City Council President Darrell Clarke wrote an opinion piece that ran in the Inquirer two days before Blatstein's announcement, calling for the second casino license to remain here.

Clarke spokeswoman Jane Roh said that he spoke with Blatstein about the project but wrote the opinion piece "of his own accord." She declined to say if other developers had expressed interest.

Mayor Nutter, in a letter to General Assembly members two weeks ago, said he opposed moving the casino license from the city. Nutter added that "we are aware of several developers" interested in the license.

Nutter spokesman Mark McDonald declined to identify who those developers are beyond Blatstein, who had gone public.

Nutter's slow Inky tweet

Mayor Nutter on Monday tweeted "Congrats Arianna @ariannahuff and the Huffington Post on winning a Pulitzer, what a great achievement!!"

That struck some in the Twitter-verse as strange since Nutter didn't mention the Pulitzer won that day by the Inquirer for a series on violence in public schools.

Nutter spokesman Mark McDonald said Nutter personally sent the tweet to his nearly 25,000 followers because he had met Arianna Huffington a few days before.

We figure a Twitter nod to HuffPo, which won for reporting on wounded soldiers, couldn't hurt Nutter's continuing efforts to boost his national profile.

"He is a very active social-media guy," said McDonald, adding that the mayor does "virtually" all of his own tweeting.

Nutter waited more than an hour to follow up with this tweet: "BIG SHOUT OUT" to the Inquirer for its Pulitzer.

- Staff writer William Bender

contributed to this report.


Have tips or suggestions? Call Chris Brennan at 215-854-5973 or email

brennac@phillynews.com.

Check out the Clout blog at:

phillyclout.com and follow on Twitter @ChrisBrennanDN.

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