Saturday, August 23, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Blatstein, PA will extend again on 1400 Spring Garden sale

Bart Blatstein still raising money for state office-to-apartments deal

Blatstein, PA will extend again on 1400 Spring Garden sale

It's more than two years since Pennsylvania's Department of General Services agreed to sell the state's office tower at Broad and Spring Garden Sts. to Northern Liberties builder Bart Blatstein's Tower Investments for $25 million, for conversion into apartments and the construction of a row of stores.

It's six months since the state shaved $2 million off the price to compensate for delays in moving state agencies to developer Ron Rubin's buildings around 8th and Market, as Blatstein searched for financing in the suddenly much tougher market.

Tomorrow is the day the state's existing sale deal with Blatstein expires. "We are in discussions with Mr. Blatstein to extend the settlement date and expect to hammer out an agreement soon," state GSA spokesman Ed Myslewicz told me. "It is clear that both parties want to make this transaction happen."

"There will be an extension," Blatstein confrims. So far, Blatstein has paid PA $2.8 million in deposits and bid guarantees, plus $80,000 in "operating expenses". Blatstein still has to raise $20.67 million to close the deal. "I'm still getting money," Blatstein told me. He said he's been raising money for various projects, from "smaller banks," and government programs. Also says his Northern Liberties apartments have "no vacancies," and the planned Pathmark Fresh at the old Schmidt's site "is well ahead of schedule." 

(An earlier version wrongly referenced 1500 Spring Garden)

Joseph N. DiStefano
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PhillyDeals posts raw drafts and updates of Joseph N. DiStefano's columns and stories about Philly-area finance, investment, commercial real estate, tech, hiring and public spending, which he's been writing since 1989, mostly for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

DiStefano studied economics, history and a little engineering at Penn, taught writing at St. Joe's, and has written the book Comcasted, more than a thousand columns, and thousands of articles, and raised six children with his wife, who is a saint.

Reach Joseph N. at JoeD@phillynews.com or 215 854 5194.

Joseph N. DiStefano
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