A Touch of Provence France on North Broad

Bart Blatstein could have chosen a number of historic destinations to model his proposed entertainment complex after from Spain, Morocco, Greece or France.  Although the Tower building draws influences from the Spanish Gibraltar bell tower, Blatstein sought inspiration from the French region of Provence, in south eastern France, a place full of Greek and Italian influences.

The former Inguirer/Daily News building and adjacent lands will be transformed into a $700 million palatial resort and entertainment complex in the heart of Philadelphia.  Blatstein stressed that the project is much more than a casino, it is an entertainment complex, one such typology that is rare in Philadelphia.  The project would be adorned with a rooftop shopping street with French flourishes, a 125 room hotel, 3000 slot machines, 150 table games, two swim clubs, a jazz club, a comedy club, a theater, and a botanical garden.  The casino would be on the site of what is now a parking lot between 15th and 16th street on Callowhill.  A 125- room hotel will go inside the iconic office tower on Broad. The rendering even consider gardens surrounding the I-676 on ramps.

News Works reports Blatstein says, the plan would create thousands of jobs and generate $25 million in tax revenues once it is open.  He also ensure that the project, designed by Steelman Partners of Las Vegas, will be built all at once, with no plan B in sight.  It's all or nothing for the big developer who believes this is the biggest project he will ever do.  The casino portion will be operated by Hard Rock International.

All of this will only be possible if Tower Investments is awarded the second casino license by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board after the submission deadline of Nov. 15.  Until then, its still another "Big City Dream", at least one that is appropriate, arguably so.

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