Tag: building

Philly undoes deal with developer Peebles to revamp historic Family Court building into luxury hotel

Philadelphia officials have broken off an agreement to sell the historic Family Court building on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway to Peebles Corp. for the developer to revamp into a 203-room luxury hotel, as the coronavirus pandemic clouds the demand outlook for visitor accommodations in the city.

a large building by a road: The old Family Court building at 1801 Vine St. in Center City. Philadelphia officials have terminated developer Peebles Corp.’s deal to revamp the historic Family Court building.

© ALEJANDRO A. ALVAREZ/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS
The old Family Court building at 1801 Vine St. in Center City. Philadelphia officials have terminated developer Peebles Corp.’s deal to revamp the historic Family Court building.

The Philadelphia Industrial Development Corp. said that it had “coordinated with the city and concluded that we will formally terminate the agreement” to purchase and redevelop building at 1801 Vine St., across from Logan Square, according to an email the agency sent last week to Christopher Leng Smith, Peebles’ managing director for the northeast U.S.


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The decision was made “in consideration of the impact of COVID on the hospitality market,” Sam Rhoads, a PIDC executive vice president, wrote to Smith in the email, which was provided to The Inquirer.

The move underscores the uncertainty surrounding the hotel industry and other categories of commercial real estate, with the long-term impact of the pandemic on everything from office use to convention businesses yet to play out.

“Nobody really knows what the landscape is going to look like post-pandemic,” said Christophe Terlizzi, who heads KeyBank’s commercial real estate practice in the region. “It’s unknown and it’s unknowable.”

Although hotel performance has ticked up since the early days of the pandemic, when business travel and tourism came to a virtual halt, the sector continues to struggle.

Occupancy at hotels in Philadelphia and the surrounding Pennsylvania and South Jersey counties remained depressed at 46% during the week ended Nov. 14, down from 74% during the same week a year ago, according to the hospitality-industry tracker STR Inc.

Revenue per available room, a standard metric used in the hospitality industry to gauge hotel performance, fell 61%, from $110.53 to $42.75, during that time.

With vaccinations against the coronavirus expected to reach the market in the months to come, some see a resumption of more commercial activity on the city’s horizon. Yet, it’s uncertain how long some sectors, such as hospitality, will take to return to pre-pandemic levels, if they ever do.

Workers who have gotten used to discussing business with associates around the world using teleconferencing software such as Zoom may be less likely than before to take expensive and time-consuming business trips or attend costly conventions, some have speculated.

And Center City may become less of a destination for whatever business travel remains if companies continue allowing employees to work from home, or if a new demand for less densely filled offices prompts a move to the suburbs where space is cheaper, others fear.

“In 2020, the immense adverse impact to the hospitality industry caused by the COVID-19 novel coronavirus created significant changes in market dynamics that impacted viability of hospitality development across the nation,” PIDC president Anne Bovaird Nevins said in an email

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Extell Files Building Plans for Midtown Hotel

Extell Development's Gary Barnett and 32 West 48th Street (Google Maps)

Extell Development’s Gary Barnett and 32 West 48th Street (Google Maps)

Hotels have faced their fair share of trouble during the pandemic, with some defaulting on their loans and others shutting down for good. But Extell Development is pressing on with its plans for a huge Midtown hotel regardless.

The development firm has filed a permit application with the city’s Department of Buildings for a 168,897-square-foot hotel at 32 West 48th Street in the Diamond District. Pincus first reported the news.

Extell did not respond to a request for comment prior to publication.

Extell has been working on the hotel project for several years now, and closed on the four-story former home of the Plaza Arcade diamond mini-mall in 2018 for $40 million. The company also snapped up the air rights for several adjacent properties, with the goal of building a huge hotel that would connect West 47th and 48th Streets.

According to the plans on file with DOB, the hotel will stand 33 stories, or 456 feet. Retail space will be available in the cellar and ground floor of the new building, along with a lobby and a fitness center. Rooms will start on the fourth floor through the 30th floor. SLCE Architects is listed as the architect of record.

The developer has been embroiled in lawsuits over the site: In November, Extell sued Elo Realty Group, which owns a building at 29 West 47th Street, alleging that it hasn’t been given access to the property to begin construction on the hotel.

“It has become quite evident that [Elo] will delay any access, and the negotiation of a fair access agreement, in the hope that forcing [Extell] to delay its project due to the lack of access granted by [Elo] will result in more favorable terms – more money and more property,” the developer said in an affidavit filed with the lawsuit.

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Court filing says 345-unit apartment building would rise near Boscov’s


Santa Claus has arrived at the Cherry Hill Mall, this time with measures intended to curb the spread of the coronvirus

Cherry Hill Courier-Post

MOORESTOWN – Three apartment buildings and a hotel could be developed at Moorestown Mall under a proposed agreement between the township and the shopping center’s owner.

The four-story apartment buildings would hold up to 1,065 homes, with 213 units to be affordable housing, according to a court filing.

The buildings would rise, along with a 112,000-square-foot hotel, in a three-phase development at the 84-acre mall property, the filing says.

The first phase calls for a 375-unit apartment building in a parking lot between Boscov’s and Nixon Drive, according to a concept plan that accompanies the proposed order. The 412,500-square-foot building would hold 75 affordable homes and a parking structure.

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The initial phase also envisions the hotel in a parking lot off Lenola Road, near the rear of the shopping center.

Those projects would require no demolition of the mall, according to the concept plan.

A concept plan for Moorestown Mall’s redevelopment shows an apartment building, left, between Boscov’s and Nixon Drive. A hotel would rise off Lenola Road. (Photo: Photo provided)

But the second phase would put a 345-unit apartment building on an area that includes the former Lord + Taylor department store and an adjacent parking lot.

The third phase calls for development of a similar building at a site that includes the former Sears store and a parking lot off Route 38.

The plans are outlined in a proposed consent order filed Friday before Superior Court Judge Paula Dow in Mount Holly.

The proposal was reached after mediation between the township, mall owner PREIT and Fair Share Housing Center, a Cherry Hill-based nonprofit that advocates for low-income residents.

Dow ordered the talks earlier this year after PREIT objected to a township plan to provide affordable housing there.

A proposed zoning overlay that received initial approval from township council in January would have required the mall’s demolition, according to PREIT.

The proposed agreement would “address a significant portion of the township’s ‘unmet need’ for affordable housing,” according to the filing.

It says the apartment buildings in the second and third phases would hold a total of 137 affordable units. Those buildings “may or may not” have parking structures.

“Phase One can stand on its own without the need for future development of Phase Two and Three,” it notes.

It adds the later phases are “more conceptual at this point” and “shall proceed at developer’s sole discretion.”

The proposed “affordable housing settlement agreement” also says the parties have recognized “at least initially, the existing portion of

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Hotel developers vow to bring forward ‘more modest’ plans for old Royal High School building in Edinburgh

Proposed extension to the historic Royal High School on Calton Hill sparked huge controversy.
Proposed extension to the historic Royal High School on Calton Hill sparked huge controversy.

They have revealed that a “more modest” proposal for an “arts hotel” would be brought forward for the A-listed building, after plans which would have seen two multi-storey extensions created, were thrown out.

Despite pledges that more than 250 full-time jobs would have been created, the hotel project was rejected by ministers on the grounds that there would have been “considerable damage to the setting of one of the most important neoclassical buildings in the city.”

The move will dismay campaigners against the luxury hotel plans and backers of an alternative scheme which would see the building become the new home of an independent music school.

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The building has been lying empty for more than half a century. Picture: Scott Louden

It will dash hopes that work will be able to get underway as early as next year on the rival scheme, which is being bankrolled by American arts philanthropist Carol Grigor, and already has planning permission from the city council.

The local authority, which is believed to be tied into its lease agreement for a hotel development for another two years, has yet to decide how to proceed in the wake of the government upholding the council’s rejection of the designs for the £75m Rosewood hotel, which was predicted to deliver a £75m boost to the citys economy, for a second time.

The Cockburn Association, the city’s long-running heritage watchdog, has called on the council to end its “contractual relationship” with the developers soon as possible and for the developers, Urbanist Hotels and Duddingston House Properties to “step aside” to allow the proposed relocation of St Mary’s Music School from the city’s west end to proceed.

However Taco van Heusden, co-founder of Urbanist Hotels, has called on the city council – which agreed to lease the building to allow it to become an “arts hotel” 10 years ago – to prioritise “jobs and investment” on the site rather than embark on “long procurement delays.”

Councillors have already backed plans to turn the Old Royal High School in Edinburgh into a new music school and concert hall.

He claimed that the hotel school was rejected on the grounds of the impact of the two “wings” on either side of the existing building and suggested that the proposed music school scheme would involve the “careless destruction of internal fabric” of the historic site.

Posting on social media, he said: “We will put forward a more modest arts hotel proposal that fits the now established parameter.

“Scale was established more than four-five years ago, inevitably things do change. Detailed proposals will come in due course.

“In these times especially, Edinburgh needs jobs and investment not years of new procurement process.

“The council also needs to be released from its £250,000 annual maintenance cost for the old Royal High School. There are much better ways to

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Downtown Beaumont could get new life thanks to city council approval of plans for hotel, apartment building

One business owner on Orleans Street is excited for what a new apartment building could mean for the area

BEAUMONT, Texas — Downtown Beaumont could see some new projects in the future after city council approved plans for a new hotel apartment building on Orleans Street. 

An exact date hasn’t been released, but plans for the old antique mall behind call for about 25 loft units. For nearby businesses, this is exciting news. 

Drive through downtown Beaumont, and it’s not hard to see, there’s a lot of untapped potential. 

Tasha Bobb opened up Stir it Up Bistro in April, just after the pandemic slowed everything down. 

“It’s really been a true walk of faith keeping the doors open during this time,” Bobb said. 

She knows what downtown is capable of becoming, and she wanted to contribute to that. 

“Downtown Beaumont should really be thriving, with a lot of businesses, eateries, people just walking down the street,” Bobb said. 

For now, most of these buildings are empty, including the historic Hotel Beaumont. 

Councilman Mike Getz is excited about some possibilities for it too. 

“Oh, it’s been empty for at least 10 years. You know, for downtown to become as successful as we’d like it to be, you’ve got to have people living downtown,” Getz said. 

Soon that could be a reality. Last week, the Beaumont City Council gave the green light for a realty company to turn the old antique mall into a hotel apartment building. 

Getz said the developer is planning to offer extended stay apartments and lofts. 

“I think his idea is to go after people working in the plants for a temporary basis,” Getz said. 

For the businesses nearby, this is good news too. 

“Oh my goodness, at first I was like, oh wow, what’s gonna happen to me, it’s gonna be an advantage to have a hotel right next door. I’m one of the only places down here where you can get full real meals,” Bobb said. 

Slowly, but surely, things are stirring up downtown. 

“It’s gonna get there, I know it will,” Bobb said. 

12News reached out to the property owner for specifics on when renovations will get started. We haven’t received an answer yet. 

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ministers reject plans to convert neoclassical building into hotel

Conservation campaigners are jubilant after Scottish ministers rejected plans to convert one of Edinburgh’s most famous neoclassical buildings, the Old Royal High School, into a luxury hotel.

a castle on a hill: Photograph: Murdo MacLeod/The Guardian

© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Murdo MacLeod/The Guardian

The Scottish government said proposals by Urbanist Hotels and Rosewood Hotels to build a “six star” hotel by adding two prominent wings to the listed 200-year-old Georgian building, which sits on the flank of Calton Hill, would have ruined an essential part of Edinburgh’s world heritage site.

a castle on top of a building: The Old Royal High School, also known as New Parliament House, is a 19th-century neoclassical building on Calton Hill, Edinburgh.

© Photograph: Murdo MacLeod/The Guardian
The Old Royal High School, also known as New Parliament House, is a 19th-century neoclassical building on Calton Hill, Edinburgh.

In a decision expected to end one of the UK’s most rancorous conservation disputes, the government said the hotel “would result in considerable damage to the setting of one of the most important neoclassical buildings in the city”.

Its ruling noted Unesco’s world heritage site citation for Edinburgh which said the Old Royal High School and the surrounding landscape of Calton Hill “provided a clarity of urban structure unrivalled in Europe” which was of “exceptional” historical and architectural interest.

Christina Sinclair, director of Edinburgh World Heritage, applauded the decision.

“This was always a highly insensitive commercial development which would have been deeply damaging to an internationally recognised masterpiece of Greek revival architecture, as well as to the designed landscape setting of Calton Hill,” she said.

The ruling now clears the way for the building to be converted into a new music school proposed by a rival bid backed by the Royal High School Preservation Trust run by St Mary’s music school, based in the west end of the city.

William Gray Muir, the preservation trust’s chairman, said: “Scottish ministers should be congratulated on this considered and sensible decision. Their recognition of the importance of the building reinforces our belief that it is the perfect place for Scotland’s national music school. Doing so will bring together two of Scotland’s national treasures.”

The music school proposal, funded by the Dunard Trust, now needs to apply for fresh listed building consent. It still has planning permission from Edinburgh city council, which gave both rival bids planning consent at the same time in 2017.

David Orr, the chairman of Urbanist Hotels, said the decision was deeply disappointing and the consortium was now considering what to do next.

“It is extraordinary that during a national crisis, at a time when it has never been more important to support Scottish tourism and jobs, our country has been denied a world-class hotel to put it on a level with other European capitals,” he said.

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Chicago’s Carbide & Carbon Building to be transformed into city’s first Pendry Hotel

Becker Ventures has sold Chicago’s Carbide & Carbon Building to Montage International for an undisclosed sum. Renovations are currently underway at the Art Deco landmark, 230 N. Michigan Avenue, as it prepares to open next spring under the Pendry Hotels & Resorts banner.

Pendry Chicago will comprise 364 redesigned guestrooms and suites, featuring a contemporary palette awash in warm minimal tones and comfortable finishes. The public spaces will be designed by Alessandro Munge’s, Studio Munge, with careful attention to the detail of the historic features of the building. The hotel’s signature restaurant and bar concept, also designed by Studio Munge, will be overseen by hospitality and nightlife pioneer, Andy Masi, and his Clique Hospitality group. In addition, the hotel will feature a lobby bar and lounge, a spectacular rooftop lounge, 12,000 square feet of meetings and event space, curated fitness and wellness programming and an extensive art collection.

“We are incredibly proud to bring Pendry to the great city of Chicago,” said Alan J. Fuerstman, founder, chairman and CEO, Montage International. “We plan to honor the history imbued in the Carbide & Carbon Building by elevating and accenting its iconic design, injecting the exceptional service and guest experience for which Pendry Hotels & Resorts are known, and celebrating the remarkable city through food, spirits, art and creativity.”

The historic Carbide & Carbon Building dates back to 1929 and is famed for its unique Champagne bottle design and extravagant details featuring dark granite at the base, deep green Terracotta on the tower and 24-karat gold leaf at the top. The building had operated as the Hard Rock Hotel beginning in 2004 until a rebranding as the St. James Hotel in 2017.

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Historic Downtown Beaumont building could become hotel, apartments

A long-time property owner of historic buildings in Downtown Beaumont is asking the city for approval to transform his property into a new hotel and apartment complex.

Richard Gilbert, principal of GP Realty and owner of the antique mall building on the corner of Orleans and Forsyth streets, will present a request Tuesday at the Beaumont City Council meeting for a specific use permit to zone the buildings for multi-family dwellings and hotel lodging.

Gilbert, a real estate developer in Houston, said he decided to make the move because he has long felt Beaumont’s downtown has missed out from a lack of housing opportunities.

“The demand is there, just no one has developed it for whatever reason,” he said. “I’ve been having this idea to redevelop this property to a residential facility, but kept them commercial because there was still demand for the space.”

The pandemic’s impact on brick-and-mortar businesses combined with low interest rates and widely available capital created the perfect environment to start the transformation to a residential property, Gilbert said.

The former antique mall on Orleans Street currently is zoned commercial — which allows for use as a storefront, office or hotel — but will have to be zoned multi-family in order to house apartments.

The building itself was built in 1938 and is about 12,800 square feet. The entire property, which includes about a quarter-acre of land, was last appraised by the Jefferson County Appraisal District at around $216,000.

If approved by the council, the project would join a smattering of existing condos spread through the city’s central business district.

Chris Boone, director of planning and development for the City of Beaumont, said there currently were just 60 units downtown, mostly concentrated in two developments completed about a decade ago.

“The majority of those (units) were brought on the market about 10 years ago when Landmark Realty out of North Carolina developed the old Antioch Church and the old Neches Electric into apartments, and the Cathedral Square development came online about the same time,” Boone said in an email to the Enterprise.

A cursory

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Conversion of historic downtown Milwaukee Masonic Center to hotel is on hold, and the building is for sale.

Plans to convert a historic downtown Milwaukee building into a luxury hotel have been indefinitely delayed, with the property listed for sale.

a view of a city at night: Construction of a luxury hotel is to begin by June at downtown Milwaukee's former Humphrey Scottish Rite Masonic Center.

© Kraig Kalashian Architecture & Design, Metro Studio
Construction of a luxury hotel is to begin by June at downtown Milwaukee’s former Humphrey Scottish Rite Masonic Center.

An affiliate of Madison-based Ascendant Holdings Real Estate bought the former Humphrey Scottish Rite Masonic Center,  790 N. Van Buren St., in 2017 for $3.5 million.


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Ascendant planned to convert the three-story Masonic Center into the hotel’s lobby, restaurant and meeting rooms, with a 14-story addition atop the building’s southern end, stepped back from the street.

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That tower was designed for 215 to 220 guest rooms, with five to 10 guest rooms on the Masonic Center’s third floor. 

Those plans were approved by the city Historic Preservation Commission, with Portland, Oregon-based Provenance Hotels agreeing to manage the hotel.

But, a planned 2019 construction start didn’t happen. And this year’s COVID-19 pandemic has devastated the hotel industry.

Ascendant now has the building listed for sale with Colliers International, a commercial real estate brokerage.

“In light of the current market conditions in the hospitality sector, our proposed hotel plan is on hold,” said Eric Nordeen, Ascendant co-owner.

Prospective buyers include hotel developers, Nordeen said, “so the possibility for a similar project still exists, and we may or may not have a role in the project going forward.”

“It’s a great site for a variety of uses, and should be worthy of development when market conditions stabilize, he said.

Scottish Rite sold the building because the fraternal organization’s dwindling membership could no longer afford to maintain it.

The building was constructed as a church in 1889 and became a Masonic facility in 1912. It was extensively remodeled in 1936.

Tom Daykin can be emailed at [email protected] and followed on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. 

Our subscribers make this reporting possible. Please consider supporting local journalism by subscribing to the Journal Sentinel at jsonline.com/deal.

This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Conversion of historic downtown Milwaukee Masonic Center to hotel is on hold, and the building is for sale.

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nomah & JSa transform iconic office building in mexico city into sense-engaging hotel

architecture firms nomah and JSª have transformed an iconic 1924 business building of mexico city, into the ‘hotel umbral’. the old structure named ‘edificio españa’ had been neglected for years, when in 2017 curio collection by hilton, recovered the property, in order to restore and rejuvenate it with a new function.

nomah & JSa transform iconic office building in mexico city into sense-engaging hotel
all images courtesy of rafael gamo



the name and concept for ‘hotel umbral’ by nomah and JSª emerges from a specific architectural element: each room within the building has a threshold (‘umbral’ in spanish). this spatial repetition generates interesting aesthetic effects between the different areas and builds a cohesive discourse that brings past and present together. meanwhile, the overall design preserves the authentic character of the structure and benefits from its unique surrounding corridors, to define the functionality of the architectural program.

nomah & JSa transform iconic office building in mexico city into sense-engaging hotel



the interior is decorated with versatile furnishing that draws inspiration from 1920s functionalism. in the common areas, the furniture can be used in different ways to transform the space into multifunctional office/workspace or leisure rooms. all pieces have a modern, delicate appearance that can accentuate and harmonize any room.

nomah & JSa transform iconic office building in mexico city into sense-engaging hotel



the hotel is designed to encourage guests to experience and experiment with their senses, guiding them from dark to light; from city bustle to tranquility. upon crossing the gold-framed threshold, visitors meet a dark and mysterious contemporary common room. on the other hand, in the private rooms, a bright, luminous, and fresh sleeping area awaits. following the same approach, the bathing furniture is designed to stand out with a dark, clean, minimalist design. 

nomah & JSa transform iconic office building in mexico city into sense-engaging hotel



the contemporary living environment generates a scenographic atmosphere, where both public and intimate areas enclose the senses. ‘hotel umbral’ adds to the richness and uniqueness of mexico city, offering a kinesthetic experience that brings the past and the present together.

nomah & JSa transform iconic office building in mexico city into sense-engaging hotel

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project info:

name: hotel umbral
architecture office: JSª, nomah
lead architect: javier sánchez
lead designer: laura natividad, dania gutiérrez
project team: carlos mar, alejandra monter, rodrigo álvarez, samuel torres, anuar portugal, gabriela gonzález, karen osorio, rebeca yáñez
furniture manufacturer: electrón 14
developer: compañía origen inmuebles
location: mexico city  



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: myrto katsikopoulou | designboom

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