Thursday, March 11, 2010

Blatstein's New Empire

Blatstein's been a buzz this week in Philly's blogosphere. Most of the ink is over the typical shenanigans that make developing anything in this town as acid-inducing as trying to wrap your head around the success of Glee. There's no use going into the maniacal specifics taking place at 1400 Spring Garden short of saying it's costing both sides tens of thousands of dollars and is being held up in part by the great thorn in Philadelphia's ass, PREIT.

With that said, the sale of the State Office Building to Bart Blatstein of Tower Development is moving forward, even if at a snail's pace. With the never ending success of the Piazza at Schmidt's transforming a once desolate pocket of Northern Liberties into a new city of its own, and Avenue North anchoring an element of - well, something other than a crime statistic - in North Philadelphia, Blatstein's vision for Broad and Spring Garden will be met with eager anticipation. If this corner sees a fraction of the success seen at the Piazza it could be the catalyst to bridge the gap between Center City and Temple University.

The project is purported to include apartments or condos, shopping, and possibly a high rise addition. New residential life on North Broad Street could not only bring life to the street itself but open up the insular Loft District and link Spring Garden and Fairmount to Center City, maybe even someday encouraging the redevelopment of the architectural gems along Ridge Avenue and of course the sadly neglected Divine Lorraine.

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