Philly developer Bart Blatstein’s plan to bring a massive retail and apartment complex next to the Piazza in Northern Liberties is moving forward.
A proposal for the development will go in front of the Civic Design Review (CDR) on Tuesday. The plan, which was released on the CDR website this month, proposes a development stretching from Germantown Avenue to North Hancock Street, with part of the complex butting up against West Wildey Street. It would sit adjacent to the triangular square that’s become known as Schmidt’s Commons, but—to many locals—will forever be the Piazza.
The plan puts forward a retail section on the southern portion of the lot, with a courtyard separating it from residential apartments in the back, closer to Girard, some of which will reach 13 stories high. Previous reports have said that there will be about 1,200 apartments in the development. Behind the residences, the plan calls for a large parking garage.
The facade of the buildings will be dark stucco, steel, and brick, according to the renderings.
The plan is a big one, especially considering the history of the adjacent Piazza, which has struggled to keep tenants in the past. Kushner Companies—a group which was then headed-up by Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law—bought a stake in the Piazza in 2013 and aimed to rebrand it as The Schmidt’s Commons. Retailers and restaurants have come and gone since then, although some notable ones have stayed, like the Urban Village Brewing Company and the (nearby) Wahlburgers restaurant.
Still, a recent visit to the site this year showed a place that was not necessarily hurting for business, but was—at least in the Piazza itself—somewhat desolate.
Kushner Companies has left the property since then, selling their stake to the Post Brothers in a $44.1 million deal. The Post Brothers, a Philly group, have expressed a desire to spruce up the apartments on the square, and bring in some more mature—rather than college-aged—residents.
Blatstein’s proposal for a complex that combines residences with retail and parking, will go in front of the CDR on Tuesday.
- Piazza Terminal [Phila.gov]
- Northern Liberties development would plunk 1,200 apartments on former Schmidt brewery site [Curbed Philly]
- Post Brothers buys $44M stake in The Piazza from Kushner Companies [Curbed Philly]