The assets of Coatesville are:
• A large tract of undeveloped land on one of busiest intersections in Western Chester County
• Easy access to major North and South and East and West Interstate Highways.
• A mid size airport with international capability just outside the city limits
• Coast to Coast Amtrak service at the Coatesville train station
• Much lower costs for property and lower construction costs than Philadelphia
• A small city of nearly 11,000 with the infrastructure already in place to accommodate a city of 20,000 residents
• Rolling bucolic countryside partly occupied by a group of extremely affluent people just outside of the city limits.
• Last but not least a city with a “sense of place” where you wake up in the morning look out of a window at the hills and homes and know exactly where you are. Something that Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, Dean of the Miami School of Architecture said was “to die for”. See the “Coatesville Charrette Report and Urban Design Plan":
Bart Blatstein was the person who got the other developers thinking about Coatesville. He was the man whose interest in Coatesville inspired Baker Properties to purchase land in Coatesville right out from under another developer during the three days that he was getting funding together. And Baker sealed the deal sight unseen from New York City.
Bart Blatstein brought other developers to see Coatesville as a gold mine for development. The youth of Coatesville also saw possibilities for a future Coatesville as a place to go to instead of a place to get away from. But the downtrodden older residents of Coatesville saw no possibility of change and were even uncomfortable thinking about change. And maybe most importantly some of the more bigoted residents in nearby townships could not see any possibilities in what they considered a “black” city. They even had their zip codes changed so that Coatesville would not be a part of their address.
Plans for the revitalization of Coatesville once lined the meeting room at City Hall. As recently as a month ago, I overheard City Council Members at Coatesville City Council meetings talking about those plans for Coatesville drawn up by Bart Blatstein’s company; "Tower Investments". They talked about the crazy absurdity of something like that being built in a poor run down town like Coatesville and what a sham artist Bart Blatstein was. To this day the mention of Bart Blatstein among some members of the Coatesville City Council will bring derogatory comments for his “off the wall unrealistic plans for Coatesville”.
I remember how Bart Blatstein was pilloried with shouted cat calls by "bloc of four" supporters when he talked about his plans at Coatesville City Council meetings. I remember how Bart Blatstein was vilified and treated as a liar and fake by the "bloc of four" supporters. The shouted out mantra of the “bloc of four” supporters was; "IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN HERE".
It looks like the "bloc of four" came through on that promise.
They drove Bart Blatstein away from Coatesville.
Check out what could have been. Check out what Bart Blatstein did in a section of North Philly that was once much tougher than what we have in Coatesville:
"Friday, May 8, 2009
Piazza opens in N. Liberties
$100 million project creates a destination
Philadelphia Business Journal - by Natalie Kostelni Staff Writer
For nearly a decade, developer Bart Blatstein has coddled, envisioned, worked on and tweaked his bold plans for Northern Liberties. Now, at a cost of $100 million, he is completing one of the most integral parts of his vision for the Philadelphia neighborhood.
Called the Piazza at Schmidt’s, it is the second of three phases of Blatstein’s overall redevelopment plan for the area surrounding the former Schmidt’s Brewery at 2nd Street and Girard Avenue. There his company, Tower Investments, has assembled more than 100 parcels totaling 28 acres and invested a total of $150 million since he embarked on refashioning the neighborhood beginning in 2000.”
Tower Investments website: