Philadelphians will soon have to go elsewhere to dispute any family legal battles as the Family Court building at the corner of 18th and Vine streets will be the location for the city’s newest luxury Hotel. The city of brotherly love still owns the property and it plans to appoint officials from the several departments to select one of the plans submitted by each of the three groups of developers. In conjunction with a hotel operator—Fairmont Hotel & Resorts, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, or Kimpton Hotels—each group has proposed a luxury venue for the 72-year-old building. The review process is likely to extend into the fall with a decision expected by the end of the year.
The Family Court building includes 37 interior murals that, along with the exterior and much of the interior, have been placed in the Philadelphia register of Historic Places and must be preserved. This historical designation will surely present developers with a challenge, as the preserved building will have to accommodate a modern hotel. Estimated at $180 million, the renovation will contain 332 rooms and 44,000 square feet of event and meeting space to go along with the hotel’s restaurants/bar, shops and luxury spa.
Plans for a renovation have been revisited since the 2010 attempt was put on hold. However, the delay has proven only to benefit the project as the economy has since improved and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway—within close proximity to the site—has become much more significant with the inclusion of several other investment projects. Sister Cities Park, the recent renovation of the Rodin Museum, and the completion of a 227-unit residential building in a once vacant Franklintown lot are but a few attractions sure to add to the appeal of this revamped neighborhood.
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Photo courtesy of fineartamerica