August 17, 1999 |
As if things didn't already look bad for the hole in the ground at 8th and Market streets. As if it wasn't bad enough for that hole to sit there, month after month, without so much as a bulldozer or construction worker to give it legitimacy. As if it didn't already look bad when developer Ken Goldenberg had to go begging, first to the Philadelphia Parking Authority, and then to powerhouse developer Ron Rubin, for cash to keep his DisneyQuest project afloat. Now, even Disney executives are seeding the storm clouds.
July 26, 1999 |
Some of the new tenants planning to join the proposed DisneyQuest development at Eighth and Market Streets have some big ideas, if little experience. A Canadian company is planning to build a two-story aquarium with an acrylic tunnel cutting through a shark tank, and with jellyfish that perform like ballet dancers. A science-fiction theme restaurant and shop is proposed by a Florida company that says it will bring "dinnertainment" to Market East. And Regal Cinemas plans to build a 17-screen movie theater.
April 1, 2000 |
Mayor Street yesterday declared the $167 million DisneyQuest entertainment center proposed for Eighth and Market Streets dead, but the developers said they can still feel a pulse. "The original Disney project, to put it as bluntly as I can, is dead," Street said at a media briefing. He said it may be possible for the city to renegotiate a development deal that would include Disney. The developers - the Goldenberg Group of Blue Bell, and the Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust of Center City - insisted yesterday that the project is being redesigned and that discussions are still alive.
January 24, 2000
Ed Rendell was a hell of a deal maker, but no demon for details. As an example we offer the troubled - and troubling - DisneyQuest development. This multi-million-dollar project promised to bring suburbanites and their kids back to Center City with an entertainment center that screamed Disney. It seemed like an enticing project in 1998 and worth the city's financial support. But so far all that developers, headed by Ken Goldenberg, have delivered is a giant hole at 8th and Market.
April 1, 2000 |
There are only so many stars to wish upon in real estate, and the developers struggling to bring the DisneyQuest entertainment center to East Market Street have apparently used their last. One day after City Councilman Frank DiCicco characterized plans for a virtual-reality indoor theme park as "on life support," Mayor Street yesterday pulled the plug on the ventilator. The project, which has faced construction delays, money problems and difficulty finding tenants, and which two months ago asked the city for an additional $35 million in public financing, "is off life support," Street said yesterday.
February 7, 1999 |
Pity the other dads when Ken Goldenberg's kids are asked what their father does for a living. "What's Daddy doing downtown?" asks Goldenberg as his 4- and 6-year-old boys squirm in his lap. "DisneyQuest!" they squeal as they leap off their father's lap and slide down his legs. And for dad, who is home in Chestnut Hill with a pinched nerve in his back, DisneyQuest, the virtual-reality theme park he is developing at Eighth and Market Streets, has been quite a ride. A developer of suburban shopping centers, Goldenberg, sort of by accident, has stepped into the $168 million Disney development and, with it, the enormous pressure to make DisneyQuest the showcase of a revitalized Philadelphia.
October 7, 1999 |
DisneyQuest, the Center City indoor theme park whose construction has been delayed, is now expected to open in the first half of 2001. "There have been some delays, but at this point we are moving forward," said Karen Drasler, a spokeswoman for DisneyQuest in Burbank, Calif. The $167 million development, which is scheduled to include movie theaters, shops and restaurants, was announced with great fanfare last December. At the time, Mayor Rendell and DisneyQuest officials predicted Disney's high-tech arcade would be open by July 2000 in time for the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia.
November 19, 2003 |
Developers paved over the hole in the ground at Eighth and Market Streets for a parking lot, but the city can't pave over the hole in taxpayers' pockets created by the failed DisneyQuest project. Taxpayers will eventually shell out more than $44 million, city officials now concede. That includes money to pay back bonds on a never-built parking garage planned to serve the grandiose DisneyQuest complex. When the city gave up hope of getting a project in the area, a Philadelphia Parking Authority spokesman, in July 2002, estimated costs to the public at $10 million.
December 16, 1998 |
Cindy Seldin looked around nervously and confided that, despite its place in the hallowed, palm-treed pantheon of Walt Disney World, Tomorrowland might just be . . . yesterday's news. Not that she was trying to diss the Diz, she explained, it's just that, living as she does practically around the corner from the famed theme park, she is spoiled. After committing every dip and divot of Space Mountain to memory and having taken stroll after stroll down Main Street U.S.A. during 25 years' worth of visits, Seldin admits that her theme-park standards are about as high as the spire atop Cinderella's Castle.
June 5, 1998 |
Too busy for that family vacation in the great outdoors? Then you're a customer for DisneyQuest. Rather than sweat in the mountains - and pay the airfare and slap the mosquitoes - you'll be able to drive downtown, climb into a raft and shoot the whitewater rapids at Eighth and Market. Simulated rapids, of course. Or, you'll customize your own roller-coaster ride, climb into a capsule and zoom around in curlicues while never leaving the same spot. Thank computers for that experience.