Baltimore-based developer The Cordish Companies recently purchased a property in the stadium districtof South Philadelphia where it is planning to build a $600-million casino resort. The Business Journals reports that the company closed the deal in late January at a price of $37 million.
The newly acquired nine-acre property currently accommodates a Holiday Inn. It will be renovated into a 200-room boutique hotel that will be part of Cordish’s larger resort. A nearby building will be converted into a casino under the developer’s plan to build a mixed-use complex in South Philadelphia.
Construction work is set to begin later this year and what would be Live! Hotel & Casino Philadelphia is expected to open doors in 2020. As mentioned above, the complex will feature a 200-room boutique hote, and the gaming portion of the resort would occupy 100,000 square feet and will feature 2,000 slot machines and 125 table games.
The casino will also have entertainment and food and beverage facilities. Cordish plans to build a parking garage with capacity for 2,600 vehicles. The resort, with its diverse facilities, will be located next to Xfinity Live!, the dining and entertainment complex Cordish had developed together with Comcast-Spectator on 4.4 acres at the former site of Spectrum.
The Baltimore developer first revealed plans for a large mixed-use complex in South Philadelphia back in 2008. Cordish and Comcast-Spectator envisioned the demolition of Spectrum and its replacement with a hotel and a plaza area with facilities of different kind. The plan was eventually reduced to Xfinity Live!, which opened in 2012 in the stadium district of the city.
The scheme for a casino resort was revived in 2014 when Cordish and its partner Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment were granted a much-needed gaming license from Pennsylvania regulators. However, the two companies had to overcome multiple hurdles before being able to commence work on the complex.
The last such hurdle was cleared last fall. It stemmed from the fact that the project was partially owned by businessman Bob Manoukian, who was also the owner of a casino in Bensalem. Under a 2004 Pennsylvania ownership restriction, a casino owner was prohibited from being a stakeholder in more than one such venue. Late last year, Governor Tom Wolf amended the law, which made it possible for Cordish and Greenwood to move forward with their project.
Expansion across Pennsylvania
Stadium Casino LLC, the joint venture between Cordish and Greenwood, has recently added one more task to its to-do list. It was announced late in January that the developer would be allowed to build one more casino in Pennsylvania.
Stadium Casino won the second auction for the construction of a mini-casino in the state. The company pitched a $40.1 million project, which it said it would carry out in Derry Township, Westmoreland County. Stadium Casino explained that it has decided to locate its casino in that part of the state due to its proximity to Pittsburgh and the growing housing stock.