The Piazza at Schmidt's
Bart Blatstein, founder and president of Tower Investments, Inc., Philadelphia’s leading development company, opened The Piazza at Schmidt’s on May 15, 2009. The beautifully landscaped, 80,000 square foot open-air plaza is located on 2nd Street and Germantown Avenue in Northern Liberties. Blatstein has been reshaping the neighborhood and transforming it from a post-industrial void into a pioneering community since 2000.
The Piazza project began when Blatstein purchased the former Schmidt’s Brewery in January 2000 at a sheriff’s auction. The original eight and a half acre site consisted of 25 buildings spread out over nearly eight square blocks. Over the past three years, Blatstein assembled the balance of the 28 acres.
“My grandfather had a pushcart at 2nd and Laurel Street in the 1930s, so I’ve always loved this area. My dream was to create a ‘five minute neighborhood’ where people live, shop, eat, work and play all within a few city blocks. With all forms of public transportation nearby, residents will have everything they need at their fingertips, enabling them to decrease their carbon footprints by never having to use a car,” said Blatstein who has redefined urban planning with this project.
Designed and named after Rome’s famous piazzas, The Piazza at Schmidt’s is surrounded by:
- A 5 story renovated industrial building converted into commercial space on the ground floor and apartments on top
- A 6 story building connected by an enclosed catwalk to a seven story building, both with commercial space on the ground floor and apartments above
- And a 7 story oval shaped glass office building with a 24-hour upscale diner on the bottom floor, and a beautiful fitness facility on the third floor.
Blatstein wanted the architecture to feature modern designs, a style that appeals to a young business demographic. These buildings have received the American Institute of Architects (AIA) most prestigious honors.
The Piazza hosts events all year round such as concerts, free festivals, vendor markets, screening events, dance performances, live broadcasts of sporting events and more. It includes a 40’ by 20’ permanent stage and a HD 40’ Daktronics HD LED screen. Expect to see all Philadelphia sports games playing on the Jumbotron year round. All are welcome!
There are five restaurants directly in The Piazza. They include:
- Darling’s Diner, a funky 1950’s style 24-hour diner
- King’s Oak, an American grill and sports bar
- Gunner’s Run, a great pub serving American food and artisan beers
- P.Y.T; a burger joint, bar and lounge
- and Max’s Brewbar Crafteria
35 art galleries and boutiques also surround The Piazza. All privately owned, this area has become a home for many young entrepreneurs.
As another part of the enormous Northern Liberties revitalization, Blatstein has completed Liberties Walk, located directly across the street from The Piazza. Liberties Walk is a four-block long, mixed-use development with a small village vibe that consists of 72 residential walk up apartments, 30 first floor commercial units and 19 townhouses.
Blatstein has been recognized by his peers, colleagues, and lenders for his expertise in all levels of urban redevelopment. In every sense of the word, he is a Philadelphian, with a passion and vision for the city, its neighborhoods, and its bright future.