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Blatstein responds to criticism of his plans for developing 16-acre Delaware riverfront property

Developer Bart Blatstein has been the talk of South Philly lately, with two developments in the works. He recently released new plans for Broad and Washington, along with news of another riverfront development.

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Inga Saffron wrote a piece criticizing Blatstein’s vision for both of these developments. Now Blatstein’s firing back with a letter explaining his car-centric development for Columbus Boulevard

The project for 1401-99 Columbus Blvd. includes 75,000 sq. ft. of retail, 435 apartments, 45 buildings of townhouses and 45 pier townhouses for the 16-acre property. You can read more about the plans here.

More from the letter on Philly.com 

The original blueprint – heavy retail – is 25 years old. Our site has been vacant for 40 years, with zero riverfront development. Although there are sidewalks, no one is crossing six lanes of traffic. It’s not a transit-oriented development; the only way to move is by car. There’s one SEPTA bus stop.

The design challenges include the loading docks of Home Depot and Walmart and Comcast’s parking lot and storage.

The Schuylkill has seen more development than the Delaware because it’s in the central business district and close to 30th Street Station. Mixed-use development is needed to be attractive for residential development.

Saffron isn’t the only one not fond of this commercial and residential complex for the riverfront. A petition with close to 900 signatures is speaking out against this car-centric development.

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5 Responses to Blatstein responds to criticism of his plans for developing 16-acre Delaware riverfront property

  1. Angela February 22, 2016 at 12:32 pm #

    “Although there are sidewalks, no one is crossing six lanes of traffic”…. but people DO cross here… I’ve done it myself

    • DER February 22, 2016 at 1:22 pm #

      As have I, amid the trash blowing around and huge potholes, broken sidewalk, it is a pain, especially once you get “into” the shopping area, no sidewalks to get from one part to another.
      We need shops, (not the kind that come in a big box), some restaurants, and real MIXED use as was explained to us at the numerous planning meetings by the DRWC. And some LEED standards being met, this is just more of the same.

  2. Anthony February 23, 2016 at 9:26 am #

    Blatstein’s letter summed up: “Wahhh, everyone wants me to put in extra effort to come up with something that will better the city. But I don’t want to because it would be a little more work and I want to make as much money for as little effort as possible. It’s not fair!”

  3. Jeffrey Rice February 23, 2016 at 11:14 am #

    Kudos to Blatstein for taking a chance on the dump of an area known as Columbus Blvd.

    Not every improvement is a coffee shop, b.s. sandwich shop, or fine dining restaurant.

    • Asia February 23, 2016 at 12:55 pm #

      Or an Apple store.

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