Construction of Philadelphia’s long-awaited Live! Casino and Hotel has moved one step closer, after announcing that the Gilbane Building Company is to serve as general contractor for the $700m project.

The property, which be only the second casino resort complex within city limits, joining SugarHouse Casino which debuted eight years ago, is aiming to become “the first integrated sports, entertainment and casino resort destination in the region”.

Development of the project is set to commence next year, with demolition of the former Holiday Inn occupying the site set to proceed in the immediate future by the family owned Gilbane.

Being developed by Stadium Casino LLC, an affiliate of The Cordish Companies, the 1.5-million-square-foot facility will include 2,200 slots and electronic table games, more than 150 live action table games, an upscale 200+ boutique hotel, a variety of restaurants and live entertainment venues, valet parking and an approximately 2,700 space parking garage.

Regarding the latest developments and the awarding of the contract to Gilbane, Joe Weinberg, managing partner of The Cordish Companies, stated: “Gilbane was a natural fit for this project because the team is so experienced in the hospitality industry, and they bring a real understanding of our vision.

“Their reputation for quality and dedication to excellence is a core value we both share and expect for a project of this magnitude. We look forward to getting started.”

Cordish, who also operates its flagship Live! Casino & Hotel in Hanover, Maryland, has also committed to a community benefits plan, which “unprecedented goals in minority and local construction and hiring initiatives including opportunities for local, minority, women-owned, and veteran-owned businesses, as well as the creation of approximately 3,000 direct and indirect construction jobs”.

“We are excited to work with The Cordish Companies, one of the preeminent gaming hospitality and real estate developers in the nation, on building this transformative project for Philadelphia,” explained Shawn Carlin, vice president at Gilbane Building Company.

“Our expertise in building complex, schedule-driven projects within Philadelphia has prepared us well for Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia.

“Through dedicated contractor information sessions we plan to partner with local, small and diverse businesses to help build this unique project. Ultimately, these partnerships will have a positive impact on our Philadelphia community.”