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What a difference a few years makes.

Last time around, the Fishtown Neighbors Association ­­(FNA) came out against SugarHouse Casino, fearing the impact of the project on crime, traffic and the quality of life in the neighborhood. FNA stood in stark contrast to Fishtown Action, which welcomed SugarHouse with open arms.

But Monday night, FNA members were lined up waiting to get into a community meeting at the First Presbyterian Church of Kensington and voted 173-55 to support Wynn Philadelphia.

What's changed? Matt Karp, head of FNA's zoning committee, said neighbors cited three main factors in supporting the project:

  • The potential for revitalizing a site that has been dormant for a lifetime could finally get a project.

  • Jobs from construction and operation of the resort;

  • And relief that Wynn isn't planning a "slots in a box" and including a 22-acre park and River Walk.

"Ever since SugarHouse, we've never had a meeting that so many people attended," Karp said.

Team Wynn was relieved. "The neighbors really turned out to learn about how the project impacts their community, and that passion and participation is one of the reasons we are so excited about the opportunity to be part of Fishtown," said Terry McKenna, executive vice president of Keating Consulting, which is working on the project with Wynn Resorts.