Remember when you freaked out on April Fools Day when we told you the Divine Lorraine was going to be demolished?
Well, according to a report today on Philly.com, this outcome seems much farther from reality than it seemed previously. Developer Eric Blumenfeld has purchased this gorgeous old building, as well as the numerous and valuable vacant lots that sit behind it.
You may recall, Blumenfeld came forward earlier this year with a plan to convert the building into a contemporary art museum and rebuild four neighborhood schools in the lot behind the classic yet severely blighted Willis G. Hale beaut. We’ve heard nothing about whether any of these plans will ultimately come to pass, and we’re frankly not sure that this should necessarily be the plan for this important parcel moving forward anyway.
Lots in the rear
Blumenfeld purchased the properties at Sheriff’s Sale after purchasing the notes, which amounted to over $18M by our calculations. We’re certain that the bank gave him a significant discount, but we may never know how much.
And frankly, we don’t care! We’re just happy to hear that a credible developer with a good track record has stepped forth to ostensibly move forward with a project on this site. A rehab of the Divine Lorraine site will have an important positive impact for North Broad Street, Francisville, Spring Garden, and the Spring Arts neighborhoods. Hopefully, we’ll learn more about Blumenfeld’s plans soon, we can together rejoice as one of the most embarrassing and prominent sources of blight in Philadelphia is restored to her former glory.
Oh, and did we mention that Marc Vetri is talking to Blumenfeld about opening a restaurant in the building?