Market East Associates, Mohegan Gaming Teaming on New Casino

Market East Associates LP will partner with Mohegan Gaming Advisors on an urban entertainment center to be developed in Center City Philadelphia.

The project, previously called Casino Philadelphia, has been dubbed MARKET8. The development site fronts East Market Street, tucked between 8th and 8 streets.

Market East Associates submitted its application for a Category 2 gaming license in November 2012. Its pitch to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board will be made Feb. 12.

The new partner is a a subsidiary of the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority and will serve as the operator if the project becomes reality. The authority currently operates two of the most successful gaming and entertainment destinations in the United States – Mohegan Sun in Connecticut and Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in Pennsylvania. It also is a partner in Atlantic City's Resorts Casino Hotel.

Spearheading the casino and entertainment project's development is Ken Goldenberg of the Goldenberg Group, a renowned leader in real estate development and philanthropy, whose reputation for high-quality, transformative projects in the region is unparalleled; David Adelman, president and CEO of Campus Apartments; Ira Lubert, chairman and co-founder of Lubert-Adler Real Estate; Willie Johnson, founder and chairman of PRWT Services; and others.

"8th and Market is the 'centerpiece' of the East Market Street corridor, which is Center City Philadelphia's most diverse commercial district," Goldenberg said. "We have been waiting for just this type of an opportunity, as the stewards of 8th and Market, to develop a project with the transformative potential that this project possesses - for the good of both East Market Street and the larger Philadelphia community.

The site is across the street from the city's largest concentration of retail and historic Chinatown. It also is midway between the Pennsylvania Convention Center and Olde City. Its transportation connections include the proposed site of the Amtrak high-speed rail line, putting Philadelphia within 37 minutes of New York when it's completed.

"Because this site is as central as it is in the Center City district, versus being just another drive-in, drive-out casino project on one of the city's ring roads, it stands to be way more transformative, derive so much more benefit from the commercial community that it is a part of, and generate far more revenues for both the city and the state, both on its own and as part of the group of five casinos in the greater Philadelphia region, than any of its competitors," Goldenberg added.

The entire Market East Associates partnership includes: Michael Heller, president and executive partner of Cozen O'Conner; William A. Landman, CEO of CMS Companies; Bernard Smalley, senior counsel, The Tucker Law Group; Dennis Cook, founder, WES Health Centers, Thomas A, Leonard, partner, Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel LLP; William R. Miller IV, CEO of Ross Associates; Mary V. Lawton, CEO, M. Lawton Associates; and Cheryl McKissack, president &CEO of McKissack & McKissack. MARKET8 is being designed by JCJ Architecture, which also did Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs; Foxwoods Casino and Resort in Connecticut; the US Grant Hotel in San Diego; The Saratoga Casino and Raceway; AIG Corporate Headquarters; and the DH Koch Theater at Lincoln Center in New York City. 

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