Real Estate Developer Steven Clofine said Bart Blatstein’s Provence was the way to go, because Blatstein’s earlier developments in Philadelphia have shown he knows how to revitalize neighborhoods, and this one would be no different. Carl Cherkin expressed similar sentiments, saying the word to describe Blatstein’s work near Temple University, at the Piazza at Schmidt’s in Northern Liberties, and elsewhere is “transformational.”
Design Advocacy Group Chairwoman Kiki Bolender summed up the report card her group gave to the six proposals, based on both location and design. Market 8 got the highest grades and the only A, with The Provence not far behind. DAG gave a host of C-range grades to the South Philadelphia casinos and the Wynn Philadelphia proposal got the lowest grade, a D, for its location.
DAG likes Market 8 best because of its location on a block that is now surface parking at Market and 8th streets, its ground-level retail and its design. The Provence, at Callowhill and Broad streets, also has a good location, although it would be better if more of the proposal was on Broad Street rather than Callowhill, DAG says. The interior design is very interesting, Bolender said, but the exterior is lacking. Learn more about DAG’s position from this previous article.
Penelope Giles from Francisville Neighborhood Development Corporation said her group supports The Provence because of its potential to help restore Francisville to its former greatness.