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Old Posted Apr 8, 2005, 5:45 AM
Joey D's Avatar
Joey D Joey D is offline
I ate your kids. Sorry.
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Wilmington burbies for now
Posts: 2,039
I stumbled across this pic after many drunken clicks upon mine google.

It situates 2 Christina Landing (River Tower) closer to the other guy.

I smashed a few of the renderings together and made this:

The last one is the WSFS Gateway Plaza, which needs to be built already.

A Wilmington Casino. They're scared shitless, no?

A Delaware group is proposing a more than $300 million gambling and entertainment playground for 50 acres on Wilmington's Seventh Street Peninsula.

The project, called Diamond Casino Resort, would include up to 4,000 slot machines in several themed settings, a 400-room hotel, dinner theater, restaurants, shops and a public marina.

Legislation that would allow the opening of a casino not related to a racetrack is being drafted and is expected to be introduced next month. The 1994 law that legalized slot machines in Delaware tied gambling to the state's horse-racing tracks. The stated purpose of the law was to save the horse-racing industry.

The project promises to bring 2,000 jobs to the city by creating a regional entertainment attraction known in the industry as "casinos-plus," according to the developer, Diamond Entertainment Group LLC of Wilmington. The developers said they have not yet estimated revenue or overall economic impact from the project.

The developers are modeling the resort project after the Mohegan Sun gaming and entertainment venue in Uncasville, Conn. They are promoting the project as a way to combat the coming competition from slots in Pennsylvania and, possibly, Maryland. Plans are already in the works for a Harrah's casino and racetrack in Chester, Pa., about 15 miles from Wilmington.

"It's a question of maintaining competitiveness in the expanding mid-Atlantic market," said Mark Kleinschmidt, president of MAK Associates in New Castle and operations manager for the Diamond Entertainment Group. "We need to upgrade our gaming legislation and move into a second generation of video lottery terminal operations."

Political observers and gaming experts said the project is likely to escalate the public policy debate about the expansion of legalized gambling beyond the original purpose of the 1994 law.

I. Nelson Rose, a professor at Whittier Law School in Costa Mesa, Calif., and an expert in gaming law, said most states don't take the offensive when facing competition from other states. They only open casinos after they begin to lose revenues to other states, he said.

"Once the racinos open in Pennsylvania, the gaming revenues in Delaware are going to drop dramatically," Rose said.

Diamond Entertainment has estimated a loss of more than $130 million in general fund revenue if both Pennsylvania and Maryland legalize gambling. Delaware receives about $190 million a year from gambling, about 8 percent of the state's operating budget.

Still, the developers are likely to see intense opposition from gaming venues at Delaware Park, Dover Downs and Harrington Raceway.

"It's not Diamond Casino Resort that's going to kill the racinos. It's Philadelphia that's going to cream their business," said Claire M. DeMatteis, the lawyer and lobbyist for Diamond Entertainment.

Changed climate

DeMatteis said that, unlike 2003 when Delaware Program LLC proposed a $50 million hotel and casino on the Christina River at Walnut and A streets, the political and economic landscape has changed dramatically. The city desperately needs the additional revenues a casino resort would bring, she said.

Besides wage and property taxes paid to the city by a major entertainment development, the proposed legislation would dedicate a percentage of revenues to the city. No estimates have been made regarding the amount of money the city would receive, she said.

Mayor James M. Baker indicated last week in a letter to Gov. Ruth Ann Minner that some proceeds from gambling - either from the existing venues or through a new casino in the city - would be welcome.

Diamond Entertainment will meet with Merrill Lynch executives from New York next week to discuss project financing, DeMatteis said.

Developers reach out

To sweeten the pot, Diamond Entertainment is trying to be inclusive. One of the two principals in Diamond Entertainment - Sussex Entertainment Enterprises LLC - proposed a racino in Georgetown last year.

Sussex Entertainment Enterprises principals include Ronald E. Schafer of Wilmington, Stephen S. Silver of Wilmington and Constantine F. Malmberg III of Dover.

The other principal in Diamond Entertainment is Peninsula Ventures LLC, which includes David G. Bull of Greenville, Andrew J. Aerenson of Wilmington, David Grayson of Delaware County, Pa., and Thomas B. Payne of Kennett Square, Pa.

Diamond Entertainment also has asked two other developers of proposed casinos in Wilmington to join it in the 120,000-square-foot casino building. The idea is to create a casino with different themed areas and a different mix of gaming machines under one roof.

In 2003, Delaware Program LLC proposed a 2,000-slot casino. Legislation was introduced in 2004, but it never got out of the gaming committee, said H. Hunter Lott III, a partner in Delaware Program. Lott said his group is discussing the peninsula project with Diamond Entertainment.

"I think the proposal they've got is a very exciting opportunity not only for gaming, but as an overall mid-Atlantic entertainment destination," Lott said.

Diamond Entertainment also has contacted a Maryland developer who in 2001 expressed an interest in a riverboat dinner theater with gambling. The developer, Kim Klopcic, owner of the Yin Yankee Cafe in Annapolis, Md., did not return phone calls Monday.

DeMatteis said the peninsula developers plan to introduce legislation called the Video Lottery Competitiveness Act in April. It would create "entertainment zones" for slot machine gambling outside the racetrack venues. The entertainment zones would be located in economically distressed areas ripe for redevelopment.

In addition, the bill would relax restrictions on the location of video lottery terminals so that they could be placed closer to hotels. The legislation would expand operating hours for casinos and relax restrictions on customer amenities, such as bonuses for food, beverages and rooms.

Plans for the Diamond Casino Resort call for the casino to be operated by a national casino operator. The developers said they are already in discussions with several.

Bridging the gap

Diamond Entertainment also is proposing a bridge to the peninsula from the 12th Street exit of I-495. The group is exploring the possibility of public-private financing for the bridge.

If the bill were to pass during this legislative session, work on the casino could begin as early as July. The casino could open by late 2006.

Other development on the peninsula would be phased in over time.

The Three Little Bakers Dinner Theatre in Pike Creek Valley has expressed interest in the proposed dinner theater on the peninsula.

"We think that the group's concept is so exciting - everything they're doing is so spectacular and the city will benefit. You can't help but get excited. We're definitely considering our options," said Victoria Immediato Winton, president of Three Little Bakers.

Besides the casino building, the first phase calls for 350,000 square feet of retail and restaurants. The complex is designed to have a marina and ferry terminal so that visitors could arrive by boat. There also would be a public marina with 50 to 60 slips.

A second phase could include 200 to 250 waterfront condominiums, a 7,000-seat covered arena and a second hotel.

Ehh.. It ain't much.... but then I think of Trenton.. hahahahaha
There goes the neighborhood

Last edited by Joey D; Apr 8, 2005 at 6:06 AM.
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