Thursday, July 16, 2015

$425M Hotel and Casino Complex Coming to South Philly

A long-awaited new hotel and casino is coming to South Philly. Live! Hotel and Casino will be the second casino granted a gaming license by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. It is a beautiful $425 million, 650,000 square foot hotel and gaming complex located at 900 Packer Avenue, close to the sports complex. City officials anticipate the casino will generate approximately 3,000 construction jobs and 1,246 permanent positions. Live! is going to be just the second casino, along with SugarHouse Casino, in the city of Philadelphia.

The $425 million project is planned for a 9-acre parcel at Darien Street and Packer Avenue in South Philly. Presently, there is a 12-story Holiday Inn and surface parking lot at the site.

In their place, according to the plans, there’s to be an 18-floor, 300,000 square foot hotel with 220 rooms; an 8-story, 325,000 square foot casino and parking garage, and seven tiers of parking built over the casino floor covering approximately 1.3 million square feet of surface area.

The complex will have total parking capacity for 3,551 vehicles.

Its main features are a 175,000-square-foot gaming floor that will be open 24 hours a day. It will have 2,150 slot machines and 125 table games, including ninety-two banking games and thirty-three poker tables for all to enjoy, along with 12 high-limit tables, and 80 high-limit slots.

On top of the seven-tiered garage garage will be a rooftop green space with 35,000 square feet for 400 occupants, 75 percent of which will be covered with at least 12 inches of soil planted with grass.

On the second floor of the hotel will be a spa, and on the Penthouse level, along with suites, there will be “private gaming areas.”

Eating will not be a problem for all types of tastes. There are six restaurants throughout. There is everything from high-end food options with celebrity chefs to a food court everyone can enjoy.

It also includes a very large entertainment venue, which will be more than 10,000 square-feet plus 6,500 square-feet of private event space. It all is highlighted by a 1,000-person music venue with a rooftop to keep the party alive.

There is also a planned “Asian Pit,” an area that gets its name from its designation for games frequented by persons from Asian countries or backgrounds. The casino plans to work hard to woo Asians. It’s an important segment to the casino industry as a whole.  A New York Times story estimates that casinos earn 25 percent of their revenue from Asian gamblers.

The City of Philadelphia anticipates that the casino will generate approximately 3,000 construction jobs and 1,246 permanent positions — though the goal given for employing local residents in construction is 32 percent of the total jobs.

Plans call for:
  • A “Las Vegas style” casino with a gaming floor that would be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Another 10,000-square-foot entertainment venue and 6,500-square-foot private event space.
  • Six restaurants ranging “from high-end options to a modern diner concept, a food court and a celebrity chef concept.”
  • Renovation of the existing Holiday Inn hotel and conference center into a 220-room hotel with a pool, spa, and fitness facilities.
  • A 1,000-person music venue and rooftop party deck.

The site is accessible via SEPTA’s Broad Street Line and several bus routes, and is also close to major interstates and the Walt Whitman Bridge. Valet parking will be available at the casino, or drivers would use a 3,551-space, self-parking garage.

The site is in close proximity to Lincoln Financial Field, Citizens Bank Park and the Wells Fargo Center, as well as the Xfinity Live! Complex.

The stadium district attracts over eight million visitors a year with 300 events per year. It would be a tremendous driver of traffic for the gaming facility.

The principals expect the development to draw four million visitors annually. The group says its plan will capitalize on the eight million people who already visit the stadium district each year, as well as draw new gamblers from South Jersey.

Live! Hotel and Casino is a joint venture of Greenwood Racing, Inc. (GRI) and Cordish Companies.

Greenwood Racing owns Parx Casino in Bensalem, the highest-revenue-generating casino in the state. Greenwood operates the Atlantic City Race Course and other off-track betting facilities. The company’s key principals include CEO Anthony Ricci and Robert Greene, the chairman and founder.

Baltimore-based Cordish operates multiple casinos and entertainment complexes across the country, including Xfinity Live! in Philadelphia. It operates the recently opened Maryland Live! Casino. The company also owns urban mixed-use projects in Houston, Kansas City and Atlantic City, among others. Its key principals include brothers Jonathan, Blake and Reed Cordish, as well as company partners Joseph Weinberg and Charles Jacobs.

According to the principals, they envision Live! as “one of the major gaming, resort and entertainment destinations in the eastern United States, combining integrated casino, hotel and entertainment facilities.”

Monday, July 13, 2015

300-unit Residential Tower to Rise near Independence Hall

A real estate company best known for constructing offices buildings North Jersey plans to build 300 luxury apartments in a new 32-story tower on a vacant lot at 709 Chestnut Street in Center City. Plans call 11,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor amenity space as well as 125-vehicle robotic parking garage. Ground breaking for the new 32-story tower is expected by the end of 2015.

Citing the growing demand for higher-end apartments in Center City, the Roseland division of Mack-Cali has teamed up with Parkway Corporation of Philadelphia to build the tall residential structure on what is now a narrow surface parking lot near Independence Hall.

The project marks the newest development on the east end of Chestnut Street, an area, best known for restaurants like Rosa Blanca.

Presently, there are not many buildings on this scale in the Washington Square neighborhood except for the St. James, a 45-story apartment building at 200 West Washington Square.

The developers plan to construct an automated 125-car parking garage onsite, marking the third fully automated garage project that Parkway has established in Philadelphia.

The company also operates the city's first fully automated garage at 1706 Rittenhouse Square and provided the land for the automated garage project at 500 Walnut Street, both of which have been praised by city and civic organizations.

The area has experienced a recent flurry of development and is in the midst of a rapid transformation and has proven to be particularly attractive for its emerging cultural livelihood.

The influx of businesses and residents is due to recent City initiatives, including a reduction in business taxes and a revamped zoning structure that allows for a mix of commercial and residential uses in the neighborhood.

Construction on the new 32-story tower is expected to start by the end of 2015.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Philadelphia’s Navy Yard Gets a Boost into 21st Century

Liberty Property Trust is giving Philadelphia‘s 214-year-old Navy Yard a jolt into the 21st century with a gravity-defying $35 million office building called 1200 Intrepid. The 94,000-square-foot, four-story structure, which was designed by global architecture firm Bjarke Ingels Group, is targeting LEED gold certification. The building is Liberty’s fourteenth project in the 1.35 million-square-foot Navy Yard, where it is developing a mixed-use district. Although 1200 Intrepid has yet to secure tenants, it is set to open its doors in 2016.

The 94,000-square-foot, four-story structure just broke ground in the Navy Yard. The gravity defying, double curved design of the building mimics the circular nature of the new park at its doorstep, Central Green.

Central Green is a circular, five-acre park fronting the office block, designed by James Corner Field Operations – best known as the landscape architect behind the High Line Park in Manhattan.

The new park boasts circular plots occupied by a variety of trees and plants, pedestrian pathways, and a hammock grove. In addition, the park contains a running track, hammock grove, bocce courts, a fitness station, and a table tennis area. The space is designed to be sustainable, green and natural, as well as productive, collaborative and stimulating.

1200 Intrepid and Central Green are part of Pennsylvania’s plan to transform this segment of South Philly from an industrialized business campus to a multi-functional industrial space that will accommodate 11,000 employees working for companies ranging from the pharmaceutical industry to Urban Outfitters.

These two impressive additions to The Navy Yard kick off a new block of development in The Navy Yard, which has become a magnet location for business in Philadelphia.

Encompassing more than 1,200 acres, The Navy Yard is located in the southern part of Philadelphia. It opened in 1801 and served as an important naval hub during World War II. The site was decommissioned in 1996, and the land was acquired by the city in 2000.

In 2004, Robert AM Stern Architects, working with other design and real estate experts, was commissioned to produce a master plan for the site. The plan provides a series of initiatives and actions to create a vibrant mixed-use campus, centered on historic preservation, sustainability, and smart.

The plan's vision includes environmentally friendly workplaces, notable architecture, industrial development, great public spaces, waterfront amenities, improved mass transit and residential development.

The new building will help reach the Yard’s estimated goal of supporting up to $3 billion in private investments, 13.5 million square feet of development, and 30,000 people.

The Navy Yard is currently home to 120 companies with a total of 10,000 employees. The clothing company Urban Outfitters is headquartered there, while other tenants include a large bakery, two pharmaceutical companies, and an e-retailer that sells motorcycle gear.

This is the latest in a series of recent US commissions for Bjarke Ingels Group, following Two World Trade Center in New York and the new Google headquarters in California.

Although 1200 Intrepid has yet to secure tenants, it is set to open its doors in 2016.

Monday, July 6, 2015

ElectricWeb Expanding Coverage from Mid-Atlantic to Florida Surpasses 3 Million Unique Visitors,13-Million Hits Milestones   

NEW YORK, New York (July 1, 2015) –, the electrical contractor-focused, online information services company, has reached the major milestones of 3 million unique visitors and 13 million unique visitors.

On June 14, recorded its 13,000,000 page hit, followed shortly thereafter, on June 24 by its 3,000,000 unique visitor. offers electrical contractors a wide range of services: from filing permits and utility power requests online, to the latest electrical construction industry news and project reports. Electrical contractors rely upon to make better business decisions, and to optimize their internet usage. It has more than 16,000 registered users.

These significant milestones fall four years after the company launched its online information portal in June 2011. As the milestones tumble, ElectricWeb Communications is preparing for the debut of ElectricWeb-South and ElectricWeb-Atlantic, expanding its coverage area to the entire east coast.

A launch date for both operations is scheduled for September 1st.

TheElectricWeb has thrived because of its focus on practical matters: providing timely news about projects in development and helping electrical contractors to optimize their time online by consolidating internet resources into one, easy to navigate portal. ElectricWeb Communications president Peter Coyne says, “We’re thrilled to have surpassed the 13 million hits and 3,000,000 visitor marks. We have always believed in our electrical contractor-focused business model and, in an era where many businesses are scrabbling to find a model that works, it is exciting to be growing so fast. We believe the internet is opening up huge regional opportunities for businesses like ours: the growth in web-based marketing alone is immense.” 

More facts about
- generates more than 20,000 unique visits per week.
- It has published more than 980 articles, and has over 13,000 subscribers to its newsletter.
- Monthly traffic volume surpassed 400,000 (non-unique) hits, May 2015. 
- ElectricWeb | Newsletter has twenty-four corporate sponsors.
- ElectricWeb | Blogger – syndicated content has 29 RSS news feeds.
- ElectricWeb Communications was founded in 1998 by Peter Coyne, and was incorporated in 2000. 
- The company has offices in New York City, Boston and Philadelphia, employing a staff of twelve.
About ElectricWeb Communications, Inc.
Based in New York City, the ElectricWeb uniquely fills the need of thousands of electrical contracting firms by providing valuable information and resources that they can use immediately, saving them time and money. The ElectricWeb is a dynamic edition of the original ElectricWeb model created by Peter Coyne back in 1998. With more than 34 years in the electrical industry as a supplier, as well as a contractor, Mr. Coyne’s unique knowledge and reputation are both well known and respected in the NYC electrical industry.

Carol Coyne, Vice President
Tel: 212.470.4537