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What Does the NoLibs Fire Mean for the H3 Townhouses? [UPDATED]

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Renderings via JKRNoir. Photos of progress on Hope Street condos by Laura Kicey.


According to Hidden City, the owner of the Northern Liberties warehouse that burned in a four-alarm fire yesterday is Bart Blatstein, and not a convicted drug dealer or big-butts aficionado. (Actually, we don't know about the latter; a man's tastes in such things are his own affair.) As our "before" photos of the property—taken in March—make clear, the building was accessible to graffiti artists, squatters and urban explorers. And it wasn't hard to get into. This shouldn't be surprising, as Hidden City claims Blatstein has a poor record with vacant properties.

But what of his record with properties under construction?

Just about a week ago, we visited the site of the Residences at H3, which are now going up proximate to a smoldering ruin. As you can see from the construction shots, things are moving along, though not as quickly as intended given that they were supposed to be finished "mid-2012," which is now.

Premier Access Property Management pitches H3 this way:

The Residences at H3 is a fine collection of elegant, sleek and contemporary townhouses, all boasting their cutting-edge design and exceptional style. Each townhouse has a unique layout and offers state-of-the-art home amenities, 1-car parking, private courtyard for its residents; some with private outdoor space which make this complex one of the most desirable new townhouse communities in town. These ultra-luxury townhouses are located just steps away from the Piazza at Schmidt’, the center of one of the most highly coveted neighborhoods in town: Northern Liberties. In this neighborhood "high quality" and "individuality" is the new standard where every restaurant, bar, boutique or gallery in the area has been well intended to accommodate its distinctive residents.

We called Premier and left a message asking about the construction schedule and whether the fire will delay or change implementation. Whether Blatstein safeguards his old vacant properties appropriately might seem irrelevant to eager buyers of his new construction—but when the evidence is right across the street, it's pretty hard to ignore. We're guessing that evidence will be cleaned up in, oh, five minutes.

Update: It may be that Tower is no longer affiliated with the H3 project. It sounds like it's changed hands a few times. We'll offer further clarification when we get it.