Philadelphia developer Bart Blatstein is proposing to redevelop the former Philadelphia Inquirer & Daily News building and expand the North Broad Street site into an upscale casino, hotel and retail center.
The Provence - Tower Entertainment, LLC
400 N. Broad St., the former ‘clock tower’ building that formerly housed The Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily News and Philly.com and dominates Broad Street just north of Vine Street, would be converted into a hotel. The casino, rooftop deck and parking garages would be built along Callowhill Street, between Broad and 17th Street.
3,000 electronic gaming devices (slots and automated table games); 150 table games (The casino must open with fewer than 3,000 slots, but plans to later expand to 3,300)
424,000 square feet would include a casino, concert hall, shops, restaurants, a nightclub and event and meeting space.
The French-inspired Provence's “sheer size, scope and amenities” will be “not just a regional tourist attraction but one of the most dynamic entertainment destinations on the East Coast” and an economic catalyst for North Broad Street, the principals say. They say their development “is no casino in a box” and will be “just one of the attractions” among the entertainment, shopping and dining options at the complex.
The principals envision the complex as an entertainment center that will spur development north of Center City and take advantage of its proximity to the Convention Center, which is about one-third of a mile away. They say the casino will be The Provence’s “centerpiece,” but will make up less than 20 percent of the project’s total area.
Blatstein’s proposal calls for:
The principals expect 5.3 million gaming visitors to come to The Provence each year; the development is expected to draw another 361,000 tourists who will also patronize the casino. They say the complex will cater to conventioneers, high-income tourists, locals and others who don’t visit existing casinos.
The principals say the complex will result in another two to three million square feet of additional retail, residential and commercial development within a half mile of The Provence, an area they say is “presently underdeveloped.”
The site is located near public transit that includes SEPTA’s subway lines, various buses and Regional Rail and Trolley routes that stop at Suburban Station.
The Provence would be developed by Tower Entertainment, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of longtime Philadelphia developer Bart Blatstein’s Tower Gaming, LLC. A real-estate company also owned by Blatstein, 400 North Broad Partners, LP, owns all four parcels on which the facility is proposed. Blatstein’s other projects in the city include the Piazza at Schmidt’s and numerous developments along Columbus Boulevard.
Tower will have Isle Philadelphia Manager, LLC manage the casino. Isle Philadelphia Manager is a subsidiary of Isle of Capri Casinos Inc., which operates 15 casino properties across the country, as well as an under-construction casino in Farmington, Pa. The St. Louis-based Isle’s current gaming properties are located in Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Iowa, Colorado and Florida. Virginia McDowell, Isle’s president and CEO, is a Pennsylvania native and member of Temple University’s president’s Advisory Board.
Sources: Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, PlanPhilly
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