It could be months, if not a year, before state gaming regulators decide on a location for Philadelphia's second casino.
But some neighbors of the planned Provence casino on North Broad Street, proposed by developer Bart Blatstein, already have formed a coalition to advance their interests.
Calling themselves the North Broad Community Coalition, the group has 13 members with concerns about quality-of-life issues such as traffic and crime, as well as the viability of local businesses.
Kevin Greenberg, a former city lawyer who lives in the area, will lead the coalition.
"Development along North Broad Street must be structured so that it nurtures, rather than squashes, the hard-won" momentum of the neighborhood, the coalition said in a statement released Monday.
The Blatstein project is one of six vying for a license. Three are sites in South Philadelphia; one is on the Delaware River waterfront; and a fifth is in Center City.
"Bart is a hands-on developer who has always worked well with community groups in the 35 years he's been in business," said Frank Keel, a spokesman for Provence.
Blatstein bought the former offices of The Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News at 400 N. Broad St. and envisions a three-block development with a casino, hotel, retail, dining, and entertainment along Callowhill.
"We want to have a voice, a seat at the table," said Sarah McEneaney, president of the Callowhill Neighborhood Association, which decided to join the coalition.
The faith-based members of the coalition include Congregation Rodeph Shalom, Greater Exodus Baptist Church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and Arch Street United Methodist Church.
The group also includes Friends Select School; Mathematics, Civics and Sciences Charter School; and restaurants owned by Marc Vetri.