Exclusive Photos: The Piazza At Schmidt’s Under Construction In Northern Liberties

piazza
Will Philebrity host Mayer Hawthorne or Benjy Ferree or other awesome acts here this summer? Time will tell, son, time will tell.

Earlier today, a press release went out announcing the Piazza At Schmidt’s birthing into the world soon, very, very soon. Located on the site of the old Schmidt’s Brewery at Second and Germatown in NoLibs, the Piazza is developer Bart Blatstein‘s long-in-coming mixed-use spot that will play host to street fairs, music, performance and so on. Full disclosure: Philebrity may or may not be hosting a summer concert series here — at this point, we’re still trying to figure it all out. Some fun facts: The Piazza holds a 40 ft. x 25 ft. permanent performance stage, a 16 ft. x 26 ft. Daktronics HD LED video projection screen and will hold up to 5,000 people. Whoa. After the jump, a rack of photos, followed by two renderings of the space, and today’s press release about it all. Note: These photos were taken in the fall and do not reflect the exact current status of the space; it’s much farther along these days.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


THE PIAZZA AT SCHMIDT’S OPENS IN MAY 2009 NEW URBANISM IN NORTHERN LIBERTIES

January 26, 2009 – Philadelphia, PA – Tower Investments, Inc. (Tower) is pleased to announce that The Piazza at Schmidt’s (The Piazza), a $150 million mixed use complex in the burgeoning Northern Liberties neighborhood, is nearing completion, and will be the centerpiece of a lavish 2-day grand opening weekend on May 15-16, 2009. Located at the southern end of the former Schmidt’s Brewery site at 2nd Street and Girard Avenue, it is the continuation of one of the most ambitious redevelopments of a Philadelphia neighborhood. In addition to its 500 new residential units and 100,000 sq. ft. of commercial retail and restaurant spaces on the ground floor, the centerpiece of the Piazza will be an 80,000 square foot dramatic outdoor public space that will change how residents and visitors to Northern Liberties live, work, shop and play.

Inspired by his worldly travels and more specifically Italy, Bart Blatstein, President and CEO of Tower Investments, is developing a destination in Philadelphia that celebrates the traditional Italian meaning of the “center of public life” with a modern twist. Like its inspiration, the outdoor courtyard will be bustling with activity and seasonal events such as concerts, open air markets, movie nights and more. This area is accessible through several entrances around the property and also by walking through any of the restaurant or retail spaces. There will be a 40 ft. x 25 ft. permanent performance stage and a 16 ft. x 26 ft. Daktronics HD LED video projection screen. The Piazza will hold up to 5,000 people and will be available for private social events.

As the redeveloper of Northern Liberties, Philadelphia’s oldest historic neighborhood, Tower’s holdings consist of 28 acres of land, buildings under rehabilitation and new developments of approximately 1,500 residential units and over 400,000 square feet of commercial, office and retail use. Tower’s redevelopment of Northern Liberties began with the purchase of the former Schmidt’s Brewery in the year 2000 – a brownfield urban revitalization project. Since that time, properties in the neighborhood have increased in value by over 300%. “Bart Blatstein has taken a challenged Philadelphia neighborhood and made it great. His Northern Liberties development plan has re-populated a community, removed blight, created jobs and economic activity, and energized an entire city neighborhood,” affirms Northern Liberties District City Councilman, Frank DiCicco.

Tower Investments, Inc. will continue developing Northern Liberties to include a large-scale grocery store, additional retail and residences, a park, and more. The overall plan will lead to the creation of a “Five Minute Community” where residents can work, eat, play, and shop within five minutes of their home. Harris Steinberg, Executive Director of PennPraxis and passionate advocate of thoughtful use of city space states, “Bart Blatstein has created extraordinary work in Northern Liberties. Through quality architecture, innovative urban planning, and inspired design, he has helped shaped the new character of this Philadelphia neighborhood.”

[...]

ABOUT TOWER INVESTMENTS, INC.
Tower Investments, Inc. is one of Philadelphia’s largest urban developers of mixed-use real estate with a diverse portfolio encompassing retail, entertainment, commercial and residential development. Admired for their progressive attitude and ability to take risks in the market, Tower Investments, Inc. is known as a catalyst for turning around many of Philadelphia’s undervalued neighborhoods – http://www.towerdev.com.

  • http://ripitup.org jim

    calling shenanigans all around on this post.

  • http://thecitydesk.net thecitydesk

    Oh my god! How in the world was Philebrity, of all sites, able to get an exclusive look at a Bart Blatstein Northern Liberties project?!?

    Kudos on the major string-pulling, gentlemen! Journalistic score!

  • tips

    Apparently, full disclosure is never enough for you rugged Fugazi fans.

  • jack.

    i live in the area and cannot wait for a decent shortcut to 2nd street from Hancock….oh and the bands and good ‘hood fun only a “piazza” can guarantee too.

  • http://thecitydesk.net thecitydesk

    Okay- good comeback.

  • steadyrain

    Fugazi fans? I think the post-Conshohocken set living in Tower’s apartments are more interested in a July 4th Third Eye Blind show and free tanning salon coupons.

  • tips

    @steadyrain: The Fugazi reference was to the CityDesk’s lingering indie rock damage that allows some people to think that Philebrity is not a business. A common ailment in these parts. As for Third Eye Blind, I personally prefer the New Radicals:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=91WgM6dNLTE

    But then again, I’ve got the Dreamer’s Disease.

  • lutton

    16 x 26 = 30.5 ‘ diag HD screen. Wow!

    PS, How long have you been holding this pics? There’s already a good deal of glass up on that thar ‘egg.’

  • djlynnabraham

    so is a supermarket moving in here or what? please!