A move by Foxwoods Casino from the Delaware River waterfront to Center City would mean filling the existing Gallery at Market East with a slots parlor, then fueling further development upward and outward along the "dead zone" between Old City and the Convention Center, officials and Foxwoods representatives said this morning.

Gov. Rendell, Mayor Nutter, and Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation chairman Michael Thomas met with editorial boards of The Inquirer and Daily News this morning to spell out their proposal to break the stalemate Foxwoods has encountered in trying to build against the wishes of its neighbors in South Philadelphia.

The plan - convince neighbors in Chinatown and elsewhere that a public-transit friendly casino that is part of a broader retail redevelopment of Market Street would improve their neighborhoods and businesses by drawing people to the commercial corridor. Rendell specifically pointed out surrounding, underutilized parcels along Market Street.

Nutter, who opposes the two waterfront casinos planned for the city - SugarHouse Casino in Fishtown-Northern Liberties is the second - said the Gallery idea is a chance to design an urban-friendly casino that fits in with its surroundings and spurs other development.

"This gives us an opportunity to do it well, do it right," Nutter said.

Nutter and Rendell said they expect any proposal put forward to go through the City Council hearing process and approval by the state Gaming Control Board.

Rendell said that if Foxwoods fails in its attempt at The Gallery, it would proceed with its original waterfront scheme. "That's not a threat - that's their right, that's their livelihood."