Blatstein says that he was about to build a shopping mall at the site, but his midlife crisis kicked in and he decided to get creative.
"In building his piazza, Mr. Blatstein said he stuck to several principles. He limited the height of the surrounding buildings so that none were taller than seven stories. 'The buildings can't be too high because then they become overbearing,' he said. The piazza itself had to be just the right width - no more than 100 feet - so that people would feel safe there.
Recesses and cutouts in the buildings allow people to enter at different points, tying the piazza to the surrounding streets, said Scott Erdy, one of the architects."