October 31, 2019

Cordish 'building out' South Philadelphia entertainment district over time

Cordish Cos. said Thursday they are planning to expand its entertainment district in the South Philadelphia Sports Complex.

The Baltimore development firm is behind Xfinity Live! and the $700 million Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia, set to debut next year at 900 Packer Ave. near the stadiums.

Cordish, which opened Xfinity Live! In 2012, is teaming with Comcast Spectacor on the $50 million Fusion Arena, an esports venue set to be open in 2021. 

“We are looking at the expansion of our Xfinity project, not only with esports but with other mixes of uses,” Joseph Weinberg, CEO of Cordish Gaming Group and Cordish Global Cities Entertainment, told the Philadelphia Business Journal. “So we’ll be looking at building out the district over time.” 

Cordish officials did not comment further on what the expansion might entail. The Business Journal reported last year Cordish and Comcast Spectactor are planning a 200,000-square-foot building, Pattison Place, adjacent to Xfinity Live! that will have 20,000 square feet of retail space.

Xfinity Live!, located on the site of the former Spectrum, includes several bars and restaurants.

At a “topping-off” ceremony for the casino and hotel Thursday, Cordish executives met with city and state officials to sign the final beam to be put on the building. Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, Councilman Kenyatta Johnson and Pennsylvania State Sen. Larry Farnese, all South Philadelphia natives, were in attendance. 

Live! was recently approved by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board to have a full sportsbook with an online sportsbook, said Rob Norton, president of Cordish Gaming Group. 

The casino will have some competition in the local sports betting scene. SugarHouse Casino, now Rivers Casino Philadelphia, picked up more than $37.7 million in wagers at the sportsbook and more than $31 million in its online sportsbook in September, state records show. Parx Casino in Bensalem had $21 million in its physical sportsbook and $13.8 million in online sports betting wagers. 

Live! will be the only casino in the Philadelphia area with a hotel. The hotel will have more than 200 rooms across its 12 floors. Gilbane Building Co. is the project's general contractor.

Check out the gallery above for renderings of what the casino and hotel will look like once the building is complete.

Cordish will soon break ground on its Live! casino in Pittsburgh.

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