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Blatstein to buy huge vacant lot at Broad and Washington, sources say

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.

The northeast corner of Broad and Washington

The northeast corner of Broad and Washington

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 The idea was previously presented to Hudson, but it was unclear if they would sign on.

A new banner popped up on the lot. Image from Flying Kite.

A new banner popped up on the lot. Image from Flying Kite.

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.

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16 Responses to Blatstein to buy huge vacant lot at Broad and Washington, sources say

  1. Cigarnivore December 18, 2013 at 10:05 am #

    Bring on Piazza South! (minus the noise, hipsters and rest of the related BS)…ok, so do something different altogether, just make sure it’s awesome and becomes a destination.

  2. EZ RIKER December 18, 2013 at 1:53 pm #

    Trader Joe’s!

  3. locustst December 18, 2013 at 2:16 pm #

    two words: weg, mans.

  4. ParkLover December 18, 2013 at 5:14 pm #

    Just imagine if this became a park. Like the Rittenhouse Square of S. Philly? A huge undertaking and expense to maintain, but just think how it would transform the area. Any philanthropists interested??Sigh…

    • fsdsssaa December 19, 2013 at 12:34 pm #

      I can imagine this lot with a park and it would be pretty stupid. You will have a pretty empty park sitting on Broad Street. There is not enough density and mixed use development in this area for that to work. There are other parks in South Philly and they are pretty empty most of the time.

  5. jonline December 18, 2013 at 6:41 pm #

    Stop it with the wegmans bull. They aren’t in cities and never will be for Christ’s sake. And a park?? Wit it you make my head freaking hurt

  6. Joe December 18, 2013 at 7:51 pm #

    The city needs anther trader joe’s

  7. anthonyg December 19, 2013 at 10:37 am #

    jonline hit the nail on the head. STFU about Wegmans! And +1 on the park BS. IT”S BROAD AND WASHINGTON – what a great place for a park??? Go to Passyunk Square if you want to sit in a park, not the biggest intersection in South Philly. Or for that matter go fix up Wharton Square.

  8. fmd December 19, 2013 at 12:17 pm #

    I’ve been praying for a Trader Joe’s for that location forever. But a big ass beautiful park would be amazing and really great for the adjoining neighborhoods. Sadly, that will never happen. Another ugly giant condo/apartment complex is more likely with commercial space that will fill up with business people could care less about.

  9. Tiny Tim December 19, 2013 at 12:51 pm #

    There’s a lovely park 4 blocks away. And another one 6 blocks away. I think they’re great, but they’re both empty most of the time. People love the idea of parks. Parks not so much.

    Having said that, a Rittenhouse square style park, surrounded by retail and restaurants, would be nice. But people think businesses interfere with the purity of their parks.

    • Brian December 20, 2013 at 9:47 pm #

      I am not advocating for this site to become a park, but you bring up a great point about Columbus Sq being underutilized. I believe the problem is the park itself (ie massive fences surrounding it like a prison yard), not a lack of demand for parks in South Philly. Look at Dickinson Sq… It’s always busy these days.

  10. mike December 19, 2013 at 1:10 pm #

    I have been to wegmans many times and I am not impressed. What is the big deal? If 9th street or a Reading terminal ever disappeared that would be a travesty but if a Wegmans closed who cares you have another 20 supermarkets within 10 miles.

  11. Christine December 20, 2013 at 10:19 am #

    I agree a park is not an ideal use, but those who are saying that Columbus Square or Capitolo are mostly empty clearly haven’t been to either in a long time! They are usually packed with kids and sports teams and dog walkers and the like!

  12. ylama December 21, 2013 at 8:28 am #

    I think the rittenhouse square south (or rittenhouse lite) idea would be great, if there there was a park probably about the size of fitler surrounded by various buildings with commercial on the ground floors. In the end not too different from the Piazza but geared more to this neighborhood. In the end Hudson is not going to be selling this lot cheap and Tower will do what it thinks will be profitable, with my limited knowledge I’d think mixed use would do better than retail only at this location.

  13. Hungry December 21, 2013 at 10:36 am #

    Trader Joe’s sister chain ALDI would do great in this area. ALDI now has its own private label organic line, which is much cheaper than over-priced Whole paycheck Foods or Traitor Joe’s. Now that SuperFresh is closing all stores, we need affordable supermarkets for folks who are not financially wealthy in Center City. Our health is at stake!

  14. Maria H December 22, 2013 at 2:17 pm #

    We NEED affordable groceries in Center City. A smaller ShopRite would be great.

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