Blatstein’s Casino Will Be Expansive And Expensive, But Still A Casino


Goodbye sixth borough, hello New Paris.

Well, here it is: Bart Blatstein‘s proposal for the casino/entertainment complex at the site of the former Inquirer building has been unveiled, and it’s a doozy. The $700 million complex, currently titled The Provence, would include a casino, hotel, jazz club, comedy club, spa, swim club, shops, restaurants, and more (we’ll be shocked if there isn’t a Chickie’s and Pete’s in there); apparently in an effort to defeat any and all competition. What is the inspiration for the Provence? The same source of inspiration for PIFA and Jonathan Papelbon: Paris.

According to the Inquirer, “the rooftop … would feature two blocks of shops and restaurants, fashioned to look like a French streetscape.” Blatstein told the Inky that we “share a lot of history with France, and much of our city is inspired by French architecture. Plus, “French helped us to finance the [American] Revolution.” So this is how we pay them back, we guess.

Can a newspaper feel pain? Because feeling these words printed on it probably stung a bit: “The casino, which would front Callowhill between 15th and 16th Streets, would cover 120,000 square feet, with table games in the former newsroom of The Inquirer.” Ouch. That couldn’t have been a coincidence. So next time, maybe just let the guy buy the paper.

Blatstein has to submit an official casino license application by November 15th, and we’re betting he doesn’t plan on missing that deadline. We should have more news on this relatively soon, but let us take this space to remind you of one thing: Casinos are still gross bullshit that prey on the poor, weak-willed, and gambling-addicted. Plus, the whole vibe they give off, the vibe of “Hey, everything is so bright! You could be rich and your life will be as bright as this!” is just disgusting. So yeah, this will be shops and clubs and restaurants and all of that, but the casino will just be the same as every other casino, maybe a bit more shiny.

  • http://twitter.com/Lance_Ducotte Lance Ducotte

    why have a shopping district on a fucking roof when you have north broad, callow hill, and spring garden st right there? this sucks so much for so many reasons

  • A.R.

    This proposal is the following things:

    1) An insult to logical, sustainable economic development. (If there was really a clamor for all this ‘extra’ crap, a developer would be trying to build it without a casino to subsidize it.)

    2) An assault on logical and accepted principles of urban design. (Mega-project lifestyle centers are SO over. …and if there’s one thing we’ve learned from Philly’s waterfront it’s that people just LOVE block-long overpasses.)

    3) An inverse income-redistribution scheme. (No no, they’re just acting in their rational self-interest… Those poor schlubs at the slot machines and tables are willingly paying for ENTERTAINMENT…. Not a never-gonna-happen shot at riches… Right?!)