Foxwoods still on hold

Foxwoods Casino’s hopes of opening at the former Strawbridge & Clothier building continue to be stymied by a real estate snag. And so the zoning they need to operate a slots parlor there was not considered by City Council at its Thursday meeting.

Only two Council meetings remain before summer recess.  First District Councilman Frank DiCicco, sponsor of the Commercial Entertainment District zoning, said he’s sticking to his pledge not to bring the bill to Council for final passage until the real estate issues have been worked out, or the parties can at least produce some document saying they are close, and bound to reach deals.

Foxwoods still does not have a lease agreement finalized with the Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust, or PREIT, which owns the portion of the building where the casino wants to operate.  The other real estate issue is between PREIT and Gramercy Capital, a real estate company that owns the upper floors.  The Strawbridge building is a commercial condominium and a Gramercy representative told Council’s Rules Committee last month that his client believes it would be harmed by the zoning change.  Translation: If the zoning change is made, there could be a lawsuit.

DiCicco said Thursday that progress is being made, and he is confident he’ll be able to bring up the CED bill for final approval before Council disperses.

Posted by Kellie Patrick Gates

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