Market East and North Broad have been highlighted as areas of Philly in need of a little redevelopment, and both look like they'll get it soon: North Broad is the subject of Eric Blumenfeld's ever changing adaptive reuse empire fantasies, and Market East's Girard Square is slated for a reboot. It's interesting that both of these areas are also being considered as casino sites, given that studies show that home prices in a given area drop when a casino is added to the mix.
Though casinos have been shown to stimulate growth in rural areas without tons of non-gaming commercial activity, urban casinos have a negative impact, says a report by the National Association of Realtors. The same report (which was not written with a Philly casino in mind) also contains the following conclusions:
· Casinos "likely to have negative impacts on nearby home values...The overall impacts are site specific, generally negative near the casino"
· If most patrons are from the area, the casino has negative impacts on the local economy, but if most patrons are from elsewhere and treat the casino as a multi-day destination, the casino is more likely to have positive impacts on the local economy.
· "Casinos that are close to each other tend to split the available business, reducing profitability."
· "The inclusion of the social costs along with possibly other negative externalities reduces the net level of economic benefits from a casino or may even turn them negative"
Market8 says that they'll combat negative impacts on surrounding businesses by making their loyalty rewards points redeemable at restaurants and shops outside the casino. The Provence promises a whole French resort experience, perhaps making it a destination resort. Still, it's worth considering whether the two front runners for the casino license will spur development, or if they'll smother it.
· Economic Impact of Casinos on Home Prices Literature Survey and Issue Analysis [National Association of Realtors]
· Casinowire [Curbed Philly]