Pulse: Chatter: A Starr Turn West?

Philly’s food czar eyes the Schuylkill

Is Stephen Starr looking at the waterfront? Bedrock Group, owners of the old Rosenbluth Travel building at 24th and Walnut, along the banks of the Schuylkill, have plans to transform that drab eight-story office building into a happening retail-entertainment-dining complex. Among those in discussions about the location is Starr, who hasn’t launched a new Philly restaurant since 2004’s Continental Midtown. (Starr didn’t return phone calls seeking comment.)

Bedrock Group president Chuck Block is bullish about what’s happening on the river — including Penn’s expansion of its campus to the Schuylkill’s edge. “If you look at Penn’s plan for along the river, the critical mass is going to pull the center of gravity in the city west,” he says.

Block’s also planning street-level retail, renovated office space, a possible club hotel, and a brand-new rooftop pool that would be used by residents of Mandeville Place, the condo tower Block hopes to build directly next door. That building — designed by Richard Meier, who did the Getty museum in L.A. — is in pre-sale mode.

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