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What's Happening in:  Pennsport 

Is Blatstein’s vacant RiverView warehouse getting those billboards?

A work crew was busy yesterday putting up wooden walls on Bart Blatstein’s four-story monstrosity behind the RiverView strip mall at Washington Ave. and Delaware Ave., which a betting man would say was prep work for billboards that were applied for last year.

Such a beautiful addition to the skyline, no?

Inga Saffron at the Inky wrote about Blatstein’s effort in July 2011, calling the building a “ruin, which looks as if it had been airlifted in from Kabul.” Sounds about right. She goes on to say that his request to wrap the building with a billboard was denied. Saffron took quite the jaundiced eye to Blatstein’s plans:

With the revenue from ads, Blatstein promises to seal the structure to keep out vandals and trash. The wrap is only temporary, Blatstein assured me in an interview, a stopgap until development takes off on the waterfront. “The day that someone breaks ground across the street, I’ll take it down,” he promised.

If you like that offer, I have a bridge upriver that’s for sale.

Or maybe they’re just sealing the building?

What’s not clear are the city zoning records, which says the permit is for: ”THE ERECTION OF THREE (3) FLATWALL NON-ACCESSORY OUTDOOR ADVERTISING SIGNS ON AN EXISTING FOUR STORY DETACHED VACANT BUILDING.”

The city’s zoning website last shows that a decision on an appeal was continued in August 2011. Usually when you see activity on a building, the appeal is denoted “granted.” That could mean that Bart is just opting to seal the building. Once we find out the whole answer, we’ll let you know.

Paste-up fun on an old broken door
A long shot
The other side, adjacent to an under-95 basketball court and an ice rink. 

Meanwhile, it’s a far cry from what Blatstein originally proposed for the site including the strip mall way back when, according to this Inquirer article from 1988.

The developers of the new Riverview Plaza Shopping Center at Delaware and Washington Avenues plan to convert a four-story warehouse behind the center into 120 apartments. Bart Blatstein and Marc Haber, partners in Tower Investments of Philadelphia, have, as a courtesy, presented a proposal to Pennsport residents for the $12 million project, called Lofts at Riverview.

It would be a part of Tower’s plans to develop 12 acres it controls along Delaware Avenue between Washington Avenue and Dickinson Street on either side of the Interstate 95 exit ramp due to open in 1991.

Even in 1988, they saw the river’s potential. Too bad it still looks like shit.

CORRECTION: This post has been corrected from the earlier, boneheaded mistake about where the building was located. Do you see something that needs a correction? Or something in your neighborhood that needs to be checked out? Email us at punk@passyunkpost.com.

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2 Responses to Is Blatstein’s vacant RiverView warehouse getting those billboards?

  1. Anonymous December 19, 2012 at 3:18 pm #

    I think you got the crossroads mixed up in your first sentence. I always wondered what was up with that building. Had no idea Blatstein owned it.

  2. Albert Stumm December 19, 2012 at 3:27 pm #

    Woops, Washington and Columbus Boulevard. Maybe that was just wishful thinking that something would happen at Broad and Washington

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