Developer Bart Blatstein’s proposal for the vacant block at Broad Street and Washington Avenue in South Philly got a bit clearer on Wednesday, when renderings of the proposal were posted on the Planning Commission’s website ahead of a Civic Design Review meeting scheduled for early next month.
Blatstein is pursuing a set of zoning variances for the site, which is already zoned for the highest-density commercial uses in the city, though he has been more tight-lipped about the specifics of his plan. Renderings show one tower rather than the two towers he initially planned. The ground floor would contain some parking facilities, access to residential areas, and some retail space. As Inga Saffron described last week, the proposal also includes a rooftop retail village inspired by a trip to Provence and carried over from Blatstein’s earlier unsuccessful proposal to convert the old Inquirer building into a casino, which he would have called The Provence.
Of course, all of this is contingent on whether Blatstein is successful at the zoning board, which could partly hinge on how a meeting with the Hawthorne Empowerment Coalition goes later this month. The neighbors have been concerned about the height of the project and the placement of parking facilities.
Blatstein is also currently pursuing development projects, in various stages of reality, at the former PECO power plant next to Penn Treaty Park and on the former Foxwoods casino site on South Christopher Columbus Boulevard.