Deputy Mayor Alan Greenberger told the Philadelphia City Planning Commission that the administration thinks the longer retention of more surface lot space is a good trade for reducing the garage from 10 to 6 stories above an expanded ground floor casino space.
The plans the commission has already approved called for all but 10 percent of the 100,000-square-foot parking lot to disappear when the garage is built. The current plans also require SugarHouse to build the 3,200 space garage in one phase. Under this proposal it could be build in several phases, said project architect Cope. SugarHouse wants to begin with 1,500 spaces.
In addition to the planning commission's approval for this amended plan, SugarHouse would also need the support of City Council, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board and the Army Corp of Engineers. Te garage, which would include additional slots and table games on the ground floor, would be built on 19 acres north of the current site at 1707-1719 N. Delaware Avenue. SugarHouse has recently acquired that property. But casinos can only operate in Philadelphia on property zoned Commercial Entertainment District, therefore City Council would need to enlarge the SugarHouse CED to include this land.
There were also discussions of future phases, including a hotel tower adjacent to the port-cochere and ground-floor retail and presumably residential development along Delaware Avenue. That development would be slated for the future, dependent on market conditions. The hotel would be less than 300 feet tall, respecting the current height limit, with a green roof. The expansion would ad about 600 construction jobs and 500 permanent jobs.