Society Hill Civic Association opposes any Market East casino location

The Society Hill Civic Association is now officially opposing the location of Foxwoods Casino at The Gallery at Market East.

Society Hill Civic has long been part of the opposition to riverfront sites for either Foxwoods or SugarHouse casinos, saying that both the Fishtown and South Philadelphia locations were too close to residential neighborhoods. But the association had never – until earlier this month – taken a stand against the proposed Gallery location, which Foxwoods officials announced they were considering last fall.

SHCA leaders had said it was not possible for them to take a position unless and until they got more in formation about the project and its impact.

But on Feb. 18, the majority of the board members changed their minds, voting in favor of this statement: “Consistent with our previously expressed position, SHCA continues to oppose Casinos near residential neighborhoods and, accordingly, opposes casinos at Market East.”

Board member Rosanne Loesch said in a telephone interview Thursday that over time, the board started to realize that no study, whatever it concluded, could convince them a Gallery location was a good idea because of The Gallery’s proximity to residential areas.

Loesch noted that the board members had no idea when they voted that Foxwoods is now pondering a move to the former Strawbridge’s building at the other end of The Gallery. Loesch said she just found out about the latest proposal on Wednesday night.

A Strawbridge’s location would put the casino closer to Society Hill, and also closer to the city’s important historic sites, she said. “We are going to fight this with all the strength of our Civic Association.”

Posted by Kellie Patrick Gates. Contact her at kelliespatrick@gmail.com

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