UPDATE: Turns out Blatstein is planning to build a “retail hub,” says the Daily News.
Bart Blatstein’s Tower Development is buying the large surface lot at the northeast corner of Broad and Washington, the site of the proposed Philadelphia Arts Market, sources say.
A phone message and email left yesterday with Tower’s director of development have not been returned, but sources tell us that the parcel is under contract from current owner New York- based Hudson Capital.
Elisabeth Garson, the creative director of local advertising agency Garson Design, has proposed launching a March to October open-air market at the site. The idea recently got the backing of U.S. Rep. Bob Brady and Garson was scheduled to meet yesterday with city economic development officials to scout for potential other locations if this one fell through.
Garson told the website Flying Kite recently that she hopes to get at least a year out the Broad and Washington location before moving to another, permanent site. She has also explored opening at a smaller city-owned lot across the street.
The market would combine a flea market, craft fair and city festival with interactive booths, artists goods, craft beer, free outdoor concerts and more. To learn more, go to phillymark.com. The idea was previously presented to Hudson, but it was unclear if they would sign on.
As far as the Blatstein news goes, we’ll have to see what transpires, but a local owner at least gets that eyesore a step closer to a practical use. Hudson had owned the property since 2008, and we all know how that went.