Developer Bart Blatstein has set his sites on a new property: a fixer upper.
Blatstein recently bought the massive house on the southwest corner of Rittenhouse Square, according to Hidden City who have an excellent history of the place in their post. "It's an incredible location," Blatstein told me, joking that I should move in before he gets to renovating so I can claim squatters' rights after I expressed how much I loved the spot. "It's a jewel in the city."
The house is commonly known as McIlhenny Mansion, spans 1914-16 Rittenhouse Square and 1915–21 Manning Street. The 8,600 sq ft house, which Blatstein bought for $4.2 million, has been vacant for the last 30 years. "It's just a wonderful property and location, the fact that it's been left derelict for years is awful," Blatstein, who will be moving back from the Main Line, said.
Blatstein is the developer behind such Philly sites as the Piazza at Schmidts in Northern Liberties, which he just sold his 60 percent stake in. He's currently working on turning 400 N. Broad St., the old digs of the Inquirer, Daily News and Philly.com, into a casino called the Provence.
Blatstein didn't elaborate on what he plans to do with the long-dormant manse, because he just closed on Friday afternoon. He did say he and an undisclosed architect were working on submitting renovation plans.
"It's coming [home] and it's my commitment to the city I love, so stand by and watch, it'll be fun," Blatstein said.