Philly papers' owners sue former landlord to get security deposit back

The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Daily News and moved out of the "Tower of Truth" in July. And now they'd like their security deposit back.

Developer Bart Blatstein tried to buy the papers but was spurned by its previous owners. He did, however, manage to buy their building, which he has said might make a fine casino. (Blatstein also floated the idea of starting a competing publication.)

The current owners' suit says Blatstein didn't return their $340,500 security deposit. "Blatstein has repaid $56,750, according to the suit," the Inquirer's Jane M. Von Bergen reports.

When the company moved out, it was supposed to deliver the building "broom clean," the lease said. The company's project manager, David R. Binswanger, of Binswanger Management Services L.L.C., certified in an affidavit that the company did so.

In a walk-through later, both sides noticed debris in three closets and a large trash bin and trash compactor that had not been removed. The company said it sought access to the buildings to correct the problems but was denied. According to the lease, Blatstein can charge the media group for any items left behind.

"Maybe if you rent to college boys you have to expect some damage, but most people expect to get their security deposits back," owners' attorney Thomas A. Leonard told Bergen. Blatstein "declined to comment on the record, abruptly hanging up the phone" when called, Bergen writes.

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.


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