By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Real estate developer Bart Blatstein has decided to drop his appeal of last year’s decision by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board to put a second casino in South Philadelphia.

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Blatstein was one of four developers hoping to build Philadelphia’s second casino; he proposed putting it in the former Inquirer headquarters, on North Broad Street.

When the gaming board chose the Live Hotel and Casino project, near the stadium complex, all three losing applicants appealed.  Now, though, Blatstein is dropping his appeal — saying it is time to move on.

(Developer Bart Blatstein, left, with entertainment promoter Larry Magid, right.  File photo by John McDevitt)

(Developer Bart Blatstein, left, with entertainment promoter Larry Magid, right. File photo by John McDevitt)


“The appeal period itself would last, even if successful, at least a year.  Then the license would have to be put out again, which is probably another year, and then another appeal period, which would be another year.  So it would be approximately three years before every legal challenge is exhausted.   And that’s just too long to leave such an important property like that vacant,” he explained.

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And, Blatstein says, he lost faith in the system by which the casino licenses are awarded.  “I don’t want to be a part of that process,” he told KYW Newsradio.

Blatstein won’t say what his next plan is for the site at Broad and Callowhill Streets, other than that he’s looking at two ideas:

“We’re working through each of them now, and it’s going to be something great.  It’s just that I didn’t want to leave such an iconic property fallow like that.”

The developer says he hopes to be able to talk publicly about this plans “within a few months.”   His casino plan included a hotel in the building that, for decades, housed both the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News.

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