Mayor gives zoning OK to Foxwoods’ Gallery casino plan

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter signed zoning legislation on Sunday that would allow for a proposed Foxwoods Casino in Center City.

The action establishes a Commercial Entertainment District in the Market Street East section, including the Gallery at Market East, the shopping center that would house the casino. The district is bounded by 10th and 11th streets and Filbert and Market streets.

The proposal had been under fire from leaders of nearby Chinatown. Nutter met with the community on Saturday to discuss their concerns.

Nutter stressed that “this is the beginning of a process.”

“I appreciate the opportunity to meet with representatives of the Chinatown community to discuss their legitimate concerns,” Nutter said. “I look forward to working with these leaders in the weeks and months ahead as we take the next steps in this open planning process.”

Foxwoods’ original plan to build a casino on Columbus Boulevard in South Philadelphia was met with strong opposition, so alternate sites were sought.

The Gallery plan must still be approved by state gaming regulators and city planning officials.