O Havana

Buzz about a mystery hotel are floating around Fishtown and the Philadelphia development community.  A website and electronic flyer offer potential investors an opportunity to partake in O Havana, a 300-room luxury hotel with restaurants, a spa and a nightclub, located in front of the SugarHouse Casino.  The flyer claims the retro Cuban flair hotel has support from the City of Philadelphia, Delaware River Authority and the community.

However the Fishtown Neighbors Association has never heard of the project, Sugarhouse Casino is also not familiar, and no one affiliated with this project or anything like it has contacted the Philadelphia City Planning Commission, says Executive Director Gary Jastrzab.  The flyer also metions that it will be next door to the motion Picture Hall of Fame, which it says it will draw 1 million visitors a year.

O Havana Managing Partner Orlando E. Ballate stated to PlanPhilly that he and local partners, Core Equities, have had several meetings with city officials and neighborhood groups and they expressed support for the project and the positive impact to the city and neighborhood in terms of construction jobs and permanent jobs and revenue to the city.  He also stated that they are hopeful to get permits by July 2012.  the project could be part of the Penn Treaty Village project by Core Realty which includes Waterview Grande.

The flyer predicts a 2013 completion date, but we shall see.  I only hope they improve the buildings design before any work is allowed to happen, it looks like you typical atlantic city, or ocean front casino hotel, nothing that represents a "New Philadelphia", or anything to push the bar on building aesthetic in the city.

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