The Piazza, the NoLibs glassy self-enclosed urban unit opened up in 2009, has mostly met with success and praise both in Philly and the world outside. It makes sense, then, that other developers would try to follow Blatstein's formula and engage in some urban placemaking of their own. The SoKo loft project, already underway, is one such copycat project, but it looks like there's a new megadevelopment proposed to take up a South Kensington block.
Blackstone Development, most known for their student housing work in the Temple area, is proposing a 227,200-square-foot apartment complex/retail space/glossy live-work environment. It would include a central courtyard, apartment towers, and quite a bit of retail space.
A quick gander at the planned layout shows its similarities to the Piazza. The courtyard, retail space, and apartment towers are all there. And though South Kensington isn't Northern Liberties, it's only a few blocks away from the Piazza itself. Will Piazzaesque developments become a trend? The abundance of large swaths of vacant land could make it possible.
· Piazza North? Another mega mixed-use development proposed in S. Kensington [Naked City]
· SoKo Lofts Renderings Reviewed [Curbed Philly]