Investor sold 60 percent of Northern Liberties holdings to N.Y. group

Bart Blatstein sold a controlling interest in the Piazza at Schmidts and Liberties Walk at Schmidt to Kushner Cos.
Bart Blatstein sold a controlling interest in the Piazza at Schmidts and Liberties Walk at Schmidt to Kushner Cos. (AKIRA SUWA / Staff Photographer)
Posted: February 09, 2013

Developer Bart Blatstein, whose investment in Northern Liberties helped to turn a scruffy neighborhood into a hip destination, has sold 60 percent of his holdings there to a New York investor group.

Blatstein's Tower Investments Inc. said Thursday it had sold a controlling interest in the Piazza at Schmidts and Liberties Walk at Schmidt to Kushner Cos.

Blatstein did not disclose a purchase price. The property in the deal, however, is thought to have a value of about $130 million.

The acquisition is a joint venture between Kushner and Oaktree Capital Management L.P., a real estate investment fund.

Blatstein is among the six contenders for the city's second casino license. His project, anchored by the former headquarters of The Inquirer at 400 N. Broad St., would feature a casino as the focal point of an entertainment complex, with shopping, dining, and theaters.

Asked if he would direct proceeds from the Northern Liberties sale toward the casino project, Blatstein said only that the sale "allows me to focus more on the Provence," as his casino would be named.

He added, "We have never not completed a deal."

Jared Kushner, who is married to Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka, is a principal of Kushner Cos.

The Piazza consists of 430 residential units, 100,000 square feet of commercial space, and an 80,000-square-foot plaza.

Liberties Walk covers four blocks and includes 72 residential and 30 commercial units.

"It's a great time to be selling multifamily assets," Blatstein said.


Contact Jennifer Lin at 215-854-5659 or jlin@phillynews.com, or on Twitter @j_linq.

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