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Rival Casino Developer Not Surprised By Steve Wynn's Bow-Out

By John Ostapkovich

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Developer Bart Blatstein, one of the remaining applicants for Philadelphia's second casino license, says this week's withdrawal of Steve Wynn's application (see related story) removes what Blatstein calls a "distraction."

We caught up with Blatstein at the groundbreaking for a new shopping center at 9th and Girard, which will bring a Bottom Dollar food store and a Dollar General to the Ludlow neighborhood.

Very important, says City Council president Darrell Clarke (at right in photo).

Blatstein (at lectern in photo) says he got the news about Wynn's withdrawal while he was, coincidently, in a Wynn hotel in Las Vegas.

"I was hearing rumors about Steve Wynn pulling out for two months now, and I'm not surprised," Blatstein said today, noting that he felt the potential Wynn site on the riverfront in Fishtown was inferior and the plan wasn't his best work.

Blatstein showed me a newly produced computer animation of his proposed project, The Provence, which can easily be described as eye-popping, especially the renderings of the Philadelphia skyline from an enormous glass atrium.

There are five casino bids still being considered, three located in the sports complex area.

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