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Broad and Washington drama: Blatstein doesn’t have legal right to property, ZBA decision could be delayed again

UPDATE: Despite the letter from the property owner, and the request for a moratorium, the ZBA approved the request for a tower anyway. More from


Things are getting more and more complicated at Broad and Washington. Following the developments surrounding Bart Blatstein’s 32-story project has been a roller coaster ride lately, with the ZBA approving the project, then taking back that decision, followed by Councilman Johnson introducing a bill calling for a moratorium on construction on this lot.


There has now been yet another bump in the road for this project, with N/H Philadelphia Properties, the real estate company that owns the lot, sending a letter to the ZBA stating that Blatstein has no legal right to the property and that a decision should be held for 30 more days.

More from Philly Mag:

Now the property’s owner is seeking a further delay, claiming that its agreement of sale with Blatstein expired on March 15th.

“We respectfully request that the ZBA postpone consideration of the Application for thirty (30) days because Tower Investments, Inc. … currently holds no interest in the Property, has no authority to act on behalf of the Owner, and therefore has no right to pursue the Application,” Ballard Spahr attorney Matt McClure wrote in a letter to the zoning board.

The letter says that N/H Philadelphia Properties has filed litigation against Tower Investments “to recover liquidated damages” owed to the owner through the agreement of sale because the sale didn’t close by the expiration date.

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8 Responses to Broad and Washington drama: Blatstein doesn’t have legal right to property, ZBA decision could be delayed again

  1. Ian May 17, 2016 at 10:05 am #

    Odds Bart throws a hissy fit and nothing gets built?

  2. SoCrisp May 17, 2016 at 11:27 am #

    This is why we can’t have nice things.

  3. Anthony May 17, 2016 at 11:29 am #

    This lot needs to be sold to someone who knows what they’re doing and can deliver something of quality to the city. Bart should move to KOP where his developments will be more appreciated.

    • Ian May 17, 2016 at 12:38 pm #


    • Heidi May 17, 2016 at 4:11 pm #

      This^ 100%. Why we continue to settle for subpar nonsense like this just because he’s a developer with money disgusts me.

  4. alan murray May 18, 2016 at 10:33 am #

    so he tried to push this through without owning it? –how devious. But like most things, if it works he’s brilliant. if it doesn’t he’s a moron…

    • Roscoe May 20, 2016 at 8:25 am #

      Many properties and projects are worked on and developed by a non owner. Or the sale of the property is contingent on getting the appropriate zoning. Nothing remotely unusual in this process.
      Also, there was no way for the ZBA to consider the last minute letter, because the record for any information pertaining to this project had been closed a few weeks prior.

  5. James May 18, 2016 at 12:57 pm #

    Owner of site may be taking advantage of expiration date of closing to blunt Blatstein from starting construction, even with approval from ZBA. No allowance made for delays of Blatstein’s opponents who managed to slow down approval process which passed the expiration date of closing. Kenyatta’s proposed bill has not been heard in City Council and there is a chance it will never be brought up for consideration if it will pique interest of US Attorney in councilmanic power and abuses of such. Looks like Blatstein will sue owner of site for breach of contract and owner will be happy to see this end up in the courts where settlement negotiations will happen to pay off Blatstein for site acquisition, architectural drawings and legal fees incurred in exchange for him to waive all claims to site. Owner may already have one or two potential developers who may turn a product agreeable to both neighbors and City Council.

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