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
On Saturday, the Inquirer reported that the owners of the Divine Lorraine, a gorgeous yet blighted treasure on North Broad Street, are working to sell the property to a local developer. Tremendous news.
For the uninitiated, a brief primer on the building:
It was constructed in the last decade of the 19th century, and designed by architect Willis G. Hale (a favorite of GroJLart) in the Victorian style. Originally used as apartments for rich folks, it became a classy hotel within a decade and remained as such until 1948. That year, when it was purchased by Father Divine, it shed its aristocratic air and welcomed guests of all income levels, races, and creeds. It was, notably, one of the first racially integrated hotels in the country. Father Divine opened a soup kitchen on the first floor of the…
In recent months, we’ve detailed a number of upcoming projects in western Center City, which together comprise a residential building boom the likes of which we haven’t seen in years. 110 apartments at 2017 Chestnut St., 309 apartments at 2116 Chestnut St., and 281 apartments at 2040 Market St. will add seven hundred new apartments to a three block radius in the next couple of years.
EB Realty Management Corp. and PMC Property Group, the folks who developed 600 N. Broad St., are now getting in on the fun. Earlier this year, they proposed a fourteen story, mixed-use building at 1900 Arch St., and after reaching agreements with both the Logan Square Neighborhood Association and the residents of the nearby Kennedy House, the project appears to be a go. 1900 Arch St. is currently a vacant lot, the last…
There are big plans in the works for even more progression to North Broad Street. Earlier this month, Mayor Nutter, EB Realty Management Corp. (Eric Blumenfeld’s company, the man behind the foreclosed Marine Club) and PMC Property Group announced the start of the redevelopment project. The $43M 600 N. Broad project will include the entire block where former Wilkie Buick car dealership and the historic, seven-story Biberman building are located. The project plans for 39,000 square feet of commercial space, 97 rental apartment units, 104 parking spaces and several outdoor courtyards (yay for green space!).
Stephen Starr, Marc Vetri and Joe Volpe (event and restaurant superstars) have signed on to be involved with the commercial aspect of the redevelopment. Starr is a going for a casual restaurant centered around seafood (tentatively named Route 6 with approximately 150 seats). Vetri has plans for a not-yet-named Italian gastropub…