Commission considers Foxwoods move

    A shift of the proposed Foxwoods Casino to the former Strawbridges department store in Center City will be considered by the Planning Commission today. The move is part of a City Council effort to get the slots parlor up and running quickly.

    A shift of the proposed Foxwoods Casino to the former Strawbridges department store in Center City will be considered by the Planning Commission today. The move is part of a City Council effort to get the slots parlor up and running quickly.

    Listen:
    [audio: 090421spcasino.mp3]

    Casino opponents say Mayor Nutter and Councilman Frank DiCicco have buckled under pressure from Governor Rendell to fast-track plans to build slots parlors. Casino-Free Philadelphia spokesman Jethro Heiko says he’s lost faith in the new, reformed, Planning Commission.

    Heiko: They’re going to rubberstamp whatever the casino operators want them to do. So I don’t expect the Planning Commission to provide the independent oversight that was promised us by the mayor. It seems when it comes to casinos, planning doesn’t matter anymore.

    The city asked Foxwoods to consider alternatives to its original riverfront site. The first Center City option considered was the Gallery shopping center on Market Street. That roused opposition from Philadelphia’s Chinatown Community. The old Strawbridge’s building at 8th and Market is owned by PREIT, which operates several malls in the area. PREIT’s CEO and chairman, Ronald Rubin, is an investor in the Foxwoods project.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.