Monday, April 16, 2012

Blatstein proposes ‘spectacular’ casino project on Broad Street

by Natlie Kostelni
"Developer Bart Blatstein has expanded his holdings along North Broad Street and plans a $500 million mixed-use project that would include a casino, a hotel and other ancillary uses.

Blatstein is going to seek the casino license that Foxwoods once held.

Blatstein’s Tower Investments Inc. would construct the project starting at the intersection of Callowhill and Broad streets and fanning out to 17th Street from there (see illustration). The proposed casino would be 117,000 square feet and include what Blatstein called a “destination entertainment center” with theaters, shopping, sporting events, concerts, and spa services. By comparison, the SugarHouse casino is 130,000 square feet and is expanding by another 106,000 square feet.

Blatstein’s would sit in a building west of 400 N. Broad St. A 200-room hotel would be housed in 400 N. Broad and two parking garages, one with 1,200 spaces and another with 820 spaces, would be constructed. Each would have commercial space.

“It’s an incredible opportunity to do something spectacular,” Blatstein said. “It will be a game changer for North Broad Street and Philadelphia and add a dimension to downtown Philadelphia that doesn’t exist. It will attract conventions and have a ripple effect on economic development and real estate.”

The project has the potential to throw off $1 billion in additional economic development activity and create hundreds of jobs, according to a study conducted by Econsult Corp. It also has the ability to continue the momentum that has started in the redevelopment along North Broad and the neighborhoods flanking it. The move by Blatstein comes as the Pennsylvania Supreme Court rejected last week an appeal of the revocation of Foxwoods’ license, and state legislation is pending that would no longer have the license designated for Philadelphia and would instead be opened up to a statewide competition.

The state Gaming Control Board revoked Foxwoods’ $50 million license in December 2010 after Philadelphia Entertainment & Development Partners LP had continually delayed moving forward with a casino project in South Philadelphia. The investment group included developer Ron Rubin, Ed Snider of Comcast-Spectacor and Lewis Katz, an entrepreneur from New Jersey. The partners appealed that decision to Commonwealth Court, which upheld the gaming board’s decision to revoke the license. The investors then appealed to the state Supreme Court, which declined to hear the appeal.

Blatstein hasn’t notified the gaming commission that he seeks the license and doesn’t have a time frame for when he might move forward with the project.

“It will be determined by the casino commission,” he said.
If he doesn’t get it?
“I won’t think in terms of not getting it,” Blaststein said. “I’m in it to win.”
Blatstein doesn’t have any investors lined up yet, but he said he could also finance the project himself as he has with some of his other developments.
“I personally guarantee this amazing project,” he said.
Full story:

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.