SugarHouse Casino revises expansion plan

SugarHouse Casino opened in September 2010.
SugarHouse Casino opened in September 2010. (TOM GRALISH / Staff)
Posted: April 13, 2013

SugarHouse Casino has submitted a revised expansion plan to the state Gaming Control Board calling for a shorter parking garage, more food and beverage outlets facing the riverfront, an expanded promenade, and a new bike trail.

The city's only casino said in a filing last week that the expansion would cost more than $540 million. The investors behind the project are seeking $410 million in financing to fund construction and refinance part of their existing debt.

The gaming board plans to hold a hearing on the revised plan in May, said Doug Harbach, a spokesman.

SugarHouse became the city's first casino when it opened in September 2010 on Delaware Avenue in Fishtown and Northern Liberties.

Owners of the casino had gotten permission from the board to open in two phases. The main feature of the second phase was to be a 10-story parking garage, with expanded gambling space on the first level and more food and beverage outlets.

But a legal dispute among SugarHouse owners stalled the expansion. In the meantime, the board revoked the license of Foxwoods Casino and sought new applications for a second casino.

The revised plan includes a seven-story garage. The first floor would feature gambling, with the second floor reserved for conferences, meetings, concerts, and events.

SugarHouse also said it was working with the Delaware River Waterfront Corp. (DRWC), a nonprofit steward of development on the river, to expand its waterfront promenade to the north and south.

The casino wants to locate more dining space on the east side of its property to take advantage of its riverfront location, the filing said.

The expansion plan includes funding to continue a riverfront bike trail being developed by DRWC on the SugarHouse property.


Contact Jennifer Lin at 215-854-5659 or jlin@phillynews.com, or on Twitter @j_linq.

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