Blatstein: I Will Build a Tower of Piazza on South Broad

The developer has plans for the enormous lot he owns at Broad and Washington.

It's all going to happen here, at Broad and Washington. Image via Google Street View.

It’s all going to happen here, at Broad and Washington. Image via Google Street View.

Developer Bart Blatstein, best known for the Piazza in Northern Liberties, has begun to talk about what he might do at Broad and Washington. The Business Journal’s Natalie Kostelni, who broke the story, characterizes his concept as taking “what he did at the Piazza in Northern Liberties and roll[ing] it up into a condensed, vertical version.”

He characterizes it as a little bit “Hotel California,” a little bit modern-day commune. From the Business Journal:

“I want to take everything I’ve done in Northern Liberties that is spread over several blocks and put it in one place. It’s a self-contained community where you will never want to leave. Every amenity known to mankind is here.”

That’s right. EVERY AMENITY KNOWN TO MANKIND.


That includes the regular amenities you typically find at a luxury rental community like, say, Rittenhouse Hill (pool, dog park) and adds on a few you don't necessarily find (a "running park"). There'll also be "tennis courts that convert into volleyball pits" -- which I think means someone comes with a dump truck full of sand, but this is why I don't write about sports.

The apartment building would be 30 stories with 800 rental units and would also include some retail, though it's not clear how much or if it would be the same kind as he'd planned for initially, when he was considering the space for a large retail-only complex that might have included Wegmans.

For more details, see Kostelni's exclusive.

Blatstein has bold, new development idea for Broad and Washington [Philadelphia Business Journal]

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  • grocery store needed

    We want WEGMANS (or even ALDI) instead

    • bblatstein

      How about Bottom Dollar Food?

      • guest

        Wegmans would be a lot better. Means I wouldn’t have to go to Cherry hill

        • http://thisoldcity.com/ this old city

          Wegmans is a big box retailers that doesn’t invest in cities.

          • properthwacking

            how about cityTarget?

  • Bob Dobolino

    Oh great another cloistered super high end building that is completely cut off from the rest of the neighborhood and looms over it. That’s one heck of an amenity.

    • kclo3

      And why would height exactly factor into neighborhood integration, over, you know, a plethora of amenities and grocery anchor?

      • Bob Dobolino

        A plethora of amenities that are fully cloistered into a hermetically sealed community, cut off from everything around it – just as the article states. What, are you afraid of the rest of South Philly? Too good to interact with the little people who live in the neighborhood. Just another part of the rental bubble that’s being built now and will go pop later. There aren’t really that many people who have the bucks to live in all these places, and certainly Philly doesn’t have the job growth. Oh well everything will be great as long as those REITS and foreign investors keep buying this stuff. Until they stop.

  • Robin HM

    Why don’t we consider something that children and families could use, like a sports facility. Indoor soccer, basketball, racquetball, rock climbing wall? With some outdoor courts as well? Something actually improve the lives of those already making South Philly their home? Self contained communities seem to be contradictory to building, sustaining and improving actual communities.

    • Tim_A_H

      FYI – the Hawthorne Cultural Center at 12th and Carpenter has outdoor tennis and basketball courts, clay studio, and lots of classes. I think it’s really underused. I think some more neighborhood investment could really make it a draw for kids, teens, and families.

  • 1moreRobot

    Isn’t the Piazza where grown men and women inexplicably pay good money to live in what’s a tiny step above a giant dorm?

    Is there more demand for such living space?

  • Tim_A_H

    I’m concerned that this sounds really insular – like residents never need to leave and neighbors can’t come in. It also clearly defines “two sides of the track,” or the “haves and have nots.” The public pool and park and gorgeous charter school across the street will be completely shaded by 30 stories where people with money will have their own pool and garden. The Hawthorne Cultural Center with it’s classes, leagues, tennis courts, and basketball courts will suffice for the neighbors while the wealthy have their indoor training facilities – again, across the street.