Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Alan Greenberger told PGCB that The Provence had the most potential if executed as proposed.
Blatstein said he will build the project in a single phase, as proposed: A Hotel in the towered, Broad Street portion of the former Inquirer Building; a second-story gaming floor in the former newsroom and in new construction stretching back to 16th Street; retail and restaurants fronting on Callowhill and a roof-top village with a swim club and entertainment and music venues. An existing 820- car parking between 16th and 17th on Callowhill stays, but will be connected to the complex vie pedestrian bridge over 16th Street.
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The ground floor is designed to fully engage walkers and commuters, recognizing how vital the venue will be to the vitality of the East Market Street corridor. Market Street will be very transparent, with doorways, tables and outdoor seating that will allow 8th and Market to become an attractive social place to meet for lunch, dinner, or coffee, creating energy and excitement at all hours of the day.
The new rendering features a 168-room hotel tower that will include a spa, fitness club and entertainment terrace with views of the Delaware River. The first four floor will be visually and physically connected by escalators shaped around a focal 4 story digital video feature. The second and third floors are dedicated to casino space with bars, fine and casual dining, live entertainment, VIP gaming and lounges. The fourth floor includes a concert hall/multi-purpose venue which will accommodate live performances, banquets, meetings, and boxing, a poker room, and 2-story lounge with dining and dancing. The fifth floor will be the hotel reception area and lounges.
All floors are focused around a dramatic central atrium and the higher floors are surrounded by outdoor terraces with vistas overlooking Eighth, Ninth and Market Streets and the cityscape beyond.
If the City Council votes this fall, as expected, to establish the land bank, Philadelphia will join a number of other cities that have adopted plans like it to encourage buyers who are committed to making improvements, instead of speculators, to acquire tax-delinquent properties. To keep property from speculators who might sit on it for years without improving it, the land bank would insist that buyers were current on taxes, had no history of code violations and had the resources to make promised changes.
If Philadelphia moves forward with this, it will serve as a good model for many American cites affected by urban blight and loss of industry.
Source: New York Times
The Complex will be known as the LoSo Entertainment Center (short for Lower South). it would sit adjacent to PHL Local Gaming's proposed Casino Revolution, on land that the Lower South District Comprehensive Plan identifies as the Food District area. About 25 acres are currently owned by Procacci, with additional acreage now owned by the city. The complex would be next to the casino, between the stadium Complex, public park land, and FDR Park Colf Club in the west, and the Delaware river in the east.
PHL Local spokesman Bruce Crawley, says there will be no loss of any existing jobs, at Procacci or other industrial tenants within the development footprint. He says they will work with the city to have those jobs moved, businesses transferred, within the South Philadelphia community. Developers believe the project would create a unique attraction that would appeal to local residents, as well as to visitors to the City of Philadelphia. Visitors however would not have to actually enter the casino, itself, to participate in the Center's attractions.
The entertainment project is predicated on receiving the license because it would benefit from the casino and hotel, which Canfora said would "serve as a transformative catalyst for the overall Lower South District of the City of Philadelphia, enhancing economic impact and creating jobs and business opportunities.
Wynn would not be bound by the Central Delaware Master Plan should he be granted the license. If that happens, the city would place special casino zoning on the Richmond Street and Delaware Avenue parcel, which overrides underlying zoning, including the overlay.