SEPTA news has been coming in fast and furious these past few weeks. You may remember that our super-cool sister blog Citified brought you the news that they’re looking at bringing sexy new trolleys with easier access into the fold. SEPTA’s director of strategic planning and analysis, Byron Comati, called it a “once in a generation type move.” Now, Sandy Smith reports that SEPTA has unveiled the designs of the overhaul at 15th Street Station.
Unfortunately, the work won’t take place until after the “Democrats decamp” next summer, but, rest assured, this is a major project for the city. The work will be done in phases and, due to the complexity of the efforts at City Hall Station, crews will redo 15th Street Station first:
The engineering to be done there is simpler, consisting mainly of inserting five elevator shafts: two from the west side of the 15th and Market streets intersection to the station mezzanine and one from the mezzanine to each of the Market-Frankford Line platforms and the eastbound trolley platform at 15th Street.
For more info about the “daunting” task crews have at City Hall Station, check out Smith’s piece in our News section.
• SEPTA Unveils Renderings of 15th Street Station Renovations [Philly Mag News]
More amazing headlines this way…
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The third floor of the Pier Shops in late summer 2014. The sand has since been removed. (Photo: Dan McQuade)
Bart Blatstein appears to have resolved his dispute with Caesars over the Pier Shops in Atlantic City.
Today, a spokesman confirmed to Philadelphia magazine that Blatstein will hold a press conference next month at the Pier Shops. This morning, the Press of Atlantic City reported Blatstein met with tenants at the shops and told them things with Caesars were being settled. The press conference is set for noon on April 1st. Read more »
Tower signage at the Pier Shops earlier this month (Photo | Dan McQuade)
Yesterday was supposed to be the big unveiling of Bart Blatstein’s plans for The Pier Shops at Caesars, the half-empty mall over the ocean in Atlantic City. But it was abruptly called off late last week after Caesars filed a lawsuit accusing Blatstein “of having taken over the Pier’s lease from [a] third company illegally and without Caesars’ consent.”
Blatstein responded in court Monday to accusations in that lawsuit from Caesars Atlantic City president Kevin Ortzman, which included: Read more »
Well, we now know why Tower Investments abruptly canceled Tuesday’s upcoming press conference regarding the redevelopment of the Pier at Caesar’s. While the press release stated it was “Due to unforeseen developments beyond Tower Investments’ control,” the Press of Atlantic City is reporting it’s due to a suit filed in Atlantic County Superior Court by Kevin Ortzman, president of Caesar’s and Bally’s Atlantic City, that alleges Blatstein and crew operated “illegally as trespassers” at the pier.
Here’s more: Read more »
We’ve got some late breaking news for your Friday commute. Bart Blatstein was supposed to announce the redevelopment plans for The Pier at Caesar’s at a press conference on February 24 at the pier. It looks as though plans have significantly changed. Tower Investments just sent out a press release stating the redevelopment announcement has been cancelled, citing “unforeseen developments beyond Tower Investments’ control.” Here it is in full: Read more »
While most of the attention in Atlantic City has been turned towards the never ending saga of Revel and the other failing casinos, Bart Blatstein has managed to do the unthinkable: fly relatively under the radar regarding the redevelopment of The Pier at Caesar’s.
That’s set to change in about a week’s time as Blatstein and partner Paul Steelman, a legendary architect in the entertainment industry, will host a formal announcement on February 24 at the pier to unveil their plans for the failed high-end shopping mall. Much like Revel, which cost over $2 billion to build and will (eventually?) be sold for pennies on the dollar, The Pier at Caesar’s was originally valued at $200 million and Blatstein got it for a song–approximately $2.7 million, according to a press release.
It’s been a busy couple of months for Blatstein since the purchase of the pier in November. Read more »
Months after losing out on his bid for Philadelphia’s second gaming license to another contender, developer Bart Blatstein has moved on to to greener pastures, arguably most verdant of which is 400 North Broad: the iconic 18-story white building that was once the headquarters of the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News.
CBS Philly’s Mike Dunn reports Blatstein dropped his appeal of the gaming board’s decision after realizing how time-consuming the process would be:
“The appeal period itself would last, even if successful, at least a year. Then the license would have to be put out again, which is probably another year, and then another appeal period, which would be another year. So it would be approximately three years before every legal challenge is exhausted. And that’s just too long to leave such an important property like that vacant,” he explained.
Instead, the developer instead refocused his efforts on refashioning the former “Tower of Truth” into something else, although he has yet to say what:
“We’re working through each of them now, and it’s going to be something great. It’s just that I didn’t want to leave such an iconic property fallow like that.”
The developer says he hopes to be able to talk publicly about this plans “within a few months.”
• Blatstein Drops Casino Appeal, Says He’ll Move Ahead With Other Plans for Inquirer HQ [CBS Philly]
Meanwhile, in other news…
Delaware Station | Photo: James Jennings
The future of the hulking Delaware Station looks like it’s about to get interesting. Joe DiStefano of The Inquirer reports that Bart Blatstein has “signed a contract with Exelon Corp.” to buy the iconic site adjacent to Penn Treaty Park in Fishtown. Blatstein, whose post-casino plans also include a mixed-use tower at the vacant lot at Broad and Washington, has partnered with caterer Joseph Volpe on the deal. Volpe owns Cescaphe Event Group, which took over and renovated the Down Town Club at the Public Ledger building in 2013.
The deal would include the station, 1,000 feet of Delaware River waterfront and the pier. So, what does he have in mind for the space?
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Rendering of Live! Hotel and Casino via PlanPhilly
The Inquirer reports this morning that last month’s decision to permit a second Philly casino in South Philadelphia is being appealed by the losing bidders and by the city’s first (and still only existing) casino.
The plaintiffs include developer Bart Blatstein, the SugarHouse Casino, and the two other losing bidders. They note that the winning bidder, Live!, has the same ownership as Parx Casino in Bensalem.
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The vacant lot at Broad and Washington that Blatstein wants to develop. Photo via Google Street View.
With casino fever taking over yesterday, it was easy to overlook another project Bart Blatstein, one of the applicants who lost out on Philadelphia’s second gaming license, has in mind for the city.
If you will recall, rumors of a Wegmans coming to South Philadelphia sprung up earlier this year after he expressed interest in developing a vacant lot at the corner of Broad and Washington. Those rumors were squashed pretty quickly and, a few months later, Blatstein presented a clearer picture of what he wanted to do: a verticle Piazza-like community with “every amenity known to mankind.”
Yesterday, that idea was scratched.
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