The ground floor is designed to fully engage walkers and commuters, recognizing how vital the venue will be to the vitality of the East Market Street corridor. Market Street will be very transparent, with doorways, tables and outdoor seating that will allow 8th and Market to become an attractive social place to meet for lunch, dinner, or coffee, creating energy and excitement at all hours of the day.
The new rendering features a 168-room hotel tower that will include a spa, fitness club and entertainment terrace with views of the Delaware River. The first four floor will be visually and physically connected by escalators shaped around a focal 4 story digital video feature. The second and third floors are dedicated to casino space with bars, fine and casual dining, live entertainment, VIP gaming and lounges. The fourth floor includes a concert hall/multi-purpose venue which will accommodate live performances, banquets, meetings, and boxing, a poker room, and 2-story lounge with dining and dancing. The fifth floor will be the hotel reception area and lounges.
All floors are focused around a dramatic central atrium and the higher floors are surrounded by outdoor terraces with vistas overlooking Eighth, Ninth and Market Streets and the cityscape beyond.
If the City Council votes this fall, as expected, to establish the land bank, Philadelphia will join a number of other cities that have adopted plans like it to encourage buyers who are committed to making improvements, instead of speculators, to acquire tax-delinquent properties. To keep property from speculators who might sit on it for years without improving it, the land bank would insist that buyers were current on taxes, had no history of code violations and had the resources to make promised changes.
If Philadelphia moves forward with this, it will serve as a good model for many American cites affected by urban blight and loss of industry.
Source: New York Times
The Complex will be known as the LoSo Entertainment Center (short for Lower South). it would sit adjacent to PHL Local Gaming's proposed Casino Revolution, on land that the Lower South District Comprehensive Plan identifies as the Food District area. About 25 acres are currently owned by Procacci, with additional acreage now owned by the city. The complex would be next to the casino, between the stadium Complex, public park land, and FDR Park Colf Club in the west, and the Delaware river in the east.
PHL Local spokesman Bruce Crawley, says there will be no loss of any existing jobs, at Procacci or other industrial tenants within the development footprint. He says they will work with the city to have those jobs moved, businesses transferred, within the South Philadelphia community. Developers believe the project would create a unique attraction that would appeal to local residents, as well as to visitors to the City of Philadelphia. Visitors however would not have to actually enter the casino, itself, to participate in the Center's attractions.
The entertainment project is predicated on receiving the license because it would benefit from the casino and hotel, which Canfora said would "serve as a transformative catalyst for the overall Lower South District of the City of Philadelphia, enhancing economic impact and creating jobs and business opportunities.
Wynn would not be bound by the Central Delaware Master Plan should he be granted the license. If that happens, the city would place special casino zoning on the Richmond Street and Delaware Avenue parcel, which overrides underlying zoning, including the overlay.
Dranoff will apply for for a final zoning permit from Licenses & inspections as soon as the CDR Committee submits documentation of the meeting, which is likely to happen over the next few weeks.
The Committee applauded the developer for putting the parking facilities, containing 153 spaces, underground. It also recommended that the developers consider removing some of the pedestrian entrances into the courtyard of the project and widening others. Final approval has not yet been granted, more community meetings are planned.
The different zoning districts have different requirements and limitations for things like parking and density, and the multi-family project would require variances in either one. The project includes 30 underground parking spaces and 57 bicycle parking spaces. The local Fishtown Neighbors Association voted in support of the project as a whole, but surrounding neighbors opposed the project due to parking concerns.
Paula Brumbelow, a representative of the Planning Commission, said that the Commission supports the granting of the variances for both the residential units and the fitness center, but asked that the developer continue to work on mitigating parking congestion.
In a few weeks on October 1, Philadelphia musician and sound designer Michael Kiley and his ensemble, The Mural and the Mint, will release Animina: A Race Street Pier Sound Walk. Kiley used recorded sounds found along the river- including the train whistle, and wrote lyrics and music that play on themes related to the river, the pier, and the city's overarching goal for the pier and other Central Delaware projects, "Re-linking the city to the riverfront."
Artist: Michael Kiley
The music can be accessed through the use of a $.99 cell phone app and GPS technology. The song changes while the listener walks from 2nd and Race streets in Old City to the end of the Pier and back again. For example, the lyrics "In front of you/ at the end of the road/ is someone you once lost long ago," will be heard as " Is someone you once lost long ago/ in front of you/ at the end of the road" when the listener walks in the opposite direction.
The app's use of GPS limits user ability to requiring people to physically visit the Pier and Race Street Connector to fully experience Kiley's art. It forces users to visit the neighborhood to experience the art. The concept could prove successful, leading to future adaptations to other sites along the river.