Bart Blatstein’s Atlantic City

Philly developer Bart Blatstein has been playing real-life Monopoly, cobbling together parcels of property in Atlantic City — everyone’s favorite resort-town-slash-urban-metaphor. His snagging of the Pier Shops and Showboat made big headlines. And a recent set of acquisitions shows the beginnings of a plan to do, well, something in the city’s perpetually transitional South Inlet neighborhood. Blatstein is holding his cards close, so we asked Temple prof Bryant Simon, author of Boardwalk of Dreams: Atlantic City and the Fate of Urban America, to evaluate Bart’s moves. “He’s buying stuff for 10 cents on the dollar,” notes Simon. “I think in the short term it might work, and in the long term it might be great. He clearly has something big in his back pocket.” Whether that something is geared toward tourism (beach houses? A water park?) or permanent housing (a Philly telecommuter suburb?) is the question for Simon, who’s cautiously optimistic that the urbanism-minded Blatstein could get something meaningful done. Read more »

Sixers to Host Official NBA Draft Party at the Piazza

The Sixers’ official NBA Draft party will be held at the Piazza at Schmidt’s Commons in Northern Liberties on June 22.

“The Piazza at Schmidt’s Commons is thrilled and proud to host the 2017 Official Draft Party of the Philadelphia 76ers,” Schmidt’s Commons Property Manager Sean Gavin said in a release. “We’re ready to roll out the red carpet for one of our favorite hometown teams and all the fans in Northern Liberties and beyond.” Read more »

The Piazza Gets New Name, Adds Co-Working to the Mix

WeWork has taken 30,000 square feet of space in the last surviving remnant of the old Schmidt's brewery. It's the office linchpin of the makeover now under way at The Schmidt's Commons. | Photos: Courtesy Edelman Public Relations

WeWork has taken 30,000 square feet of space in the last surviving remnant of the old Schmidt’s brewery. It’s the office linchpin of the makeover now under way at The Schmidt’s Commons. | Photos: Courtesy WeWork/Max Hoagland

Small entrepreneurs and startup companies in Philly now have another option when it comes to flexible co-working office space.

This one comes with beer. And stadium seating. And a host of support services. And a community of other entrepreneurs ready to share their experiences and tips with you virtually as well as physically.

All of this can be found at the new Philly location of WeWork, the newest addition to the mix of offices, shops and restaurants at the Piazza at Schmidt’s. Read more »

Wahlburgers Coming to the Piazza


Mark Wahlberg in Northern Liberties with his Wahlbergers food truck.

We’ve heard the rumor that Wahlburgers was coming to the Piazza for a few months now, most recently from HughE Dillon, who was told Mark Wahlberg was seen at the former Darling’s Diner yesterday. The burger chain from the Wahlberg clan including exec chef Paul Wahlberg, has four locations and plans for as many more, is also the subject of the A&E TV show Wahlburgers. 

Today Mark Wahlberg and the Wahlburgers food truck were filming in front of the Piazza and giving out burgers.

No timeline on when Philadelphia’s first Wahlburgers might open. But keep an eye out for the food truck, Wahlburgers Philadelphia Twitter feed is teasing that the truck is heading somewhere else soon.

Wahlburgers [Foobooz]

Megaformer Pilates Studio Sculpt Fitness to Open at the Piazza

See that rectangle? That's where you'll be able to find Sculpt Fitness Studio.

See that rectangle? That’s where you’ll be able to find Sculpt Fitness Studio.

Last fall, I told you that Philly’s first Megaformer Pilates studio was officially in the works and set to debut in the SouthStar Lofts building at 521 South Broad Street. Well, there’s been a slight change of plans: Sculpt Fitness Studio is still 100-percent happening, but owner Stephanie Tolar tells me they’ve switched to a new location.

“There were a lot of things that happened, and it was taking a long time,” says Tolar. “We decided on both ends that it was best for us to move on.” Read more »

WATCH: Philadelphians React as U.S. Wins World Cup Thriller

In the team’s World Cup opener yesterday, the United States scored just 34 seconds into the match, then essentially stood around and watched for 80 minutes or so as Ghana controlled possession.

But Clint Dempsey’s first-minute goal held up for a while, despite recording 21 shots (though only 8 were on goal). But Andre Ayew — from what I know from soccer, Ghanians have great names — poked one past Tim Howard in the 82nd minute.

Read more »

The Piazza Is Being Turned into a Skating Rink

Screen shot 2013-11-15 at 8.43.38 AM

I’m a day or two late to this, but: Weeks after the Piazza’s Brooklyn Flea experiment ended, a new tenant is coming to town. Beginning on November 30th, a 5,000 sq ft skating rink will debut at the Piazza. (Hey, figures NYC-based landlord Jared Kushner, if the Brooklyn Flea doesn’t work, maybe Rockefeller Center will.) Just one catch: It’s not real ice!

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Why Brooklyn Flea Couldn’t Cut it in Philly

Photo via Brooklyn Flea Philly

Photo via Brooklyn Flea Philly

“If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere” is the next-to-last line in Frank Sinatra’s famous paean to “New York, New York.”

And of late, this city has witnessed a slow but steady stream of New Yorkers moving down this way to make it here because they can no longer afford to make it there.

Most of those people are residents, though, and so far, Philadelphians have welcomed them with open arms.

Businesses? That’s another story.

Read more »