First look at luxury apartments in Spring Garden

January 8, 2013 2:25:41 PM PST
The former state office building in the Spring Garden section of Philadelphia has been transformed into 20 stories of luxury apartments.

Real estate mogul Bart Blatstein officially opened the building in the 1400 block of Spring Garden Street on Tuesday.

The building was transformed in less than a year from a run-down office building from a high-rise with more than 200 units.

Blatstein said he spent $70 million to completely gut the rat-infested structure into one and two bedroom units that will go for $1,700 to $2,200 per month.

"This is all part of our $1 billion commitment to North Broad Street. We spent $110 million up this street at Avenue North across from Temple University," Blatstein said.

Blatstein says this will be an anchor in the block he now dominates between Callowhill and Spring Garden. The old Philadelphia Inquirer building sits waiting for Blatstein to secure a gaming license to be part of a massive entertainment and retail complex he plans to create along this strip.

"North Broad used to be the stepsister, so to speak, of South Broad," said City Council President Darrell Clarke. "But I've got to tell you, North Broad is where it's at, it's the place to be."

Blatstein has already made his mark further up North Broad at Temple University's campus, with the creation of the Pearl Theater Movie complex.

"As you know we purchased the Inquirer building a year ago and our plans are, hopefully, to see the entertainment mecca of the city there," said Blatstein.

North Broad has been long been neglected by Center City developers. Now, all signs are that is going to dramatically change in the years ahead.