Philly Live! Complex Slowly Taking Shape At Site Of Old Spectrum
The "Philly Live!" dream "included a hotel, underground parking and a movie theater," but three years later, the "reality is a 60,000-square foot cluster of nine businesses, enclosed; a 40,000-square foot outdoor event space, ideal for concerts; and a parking lot," according to Marcus Hayes of the PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS. Still, with the country and the city of Philadelphia "mired in a prolonged economic slump with no end in sight, almost $60 million in revenue over the next 2 years is a blessing." The project, being built at the site where the Spectrum once stood, is being "split evenly between" Comcast-Spectacor and The Cordish Co. Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter said, "This is a great project. It will only expand and grow. There is a growing life and synergy down here. The Phillies are just flat-out kicking butt. The anticipation of the Eagles. The rebuilding of the Sixers. The Flyers in the Stanley Cup (in 2010)." Philly sports teams draw "more than 8 million spectators annually to the South Philly neighborhood," where they "have virtually no options besides two sports bars." Phase One of the "Philly Live!" project began in April and "is scheduled for completion in the spring." Hayes noted a Phase One "implies that further phases will come: the hotel, the subterranean parking, the theater; four phases in all." Cordish said that "no definite plans are on the table for other phases." But the company "is hopeful that the gem of the project -- the hotel -- might materialize sooner than later." Cordish insisted that the "more modest beginning might not be a bad thing." Hayes: "Better to succeed and expand than to gamble big and lose." For now, "'Philly Live! lives ... if on a less grandiose scale" (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 9/7).