Project will reposition historic Family Court Building into new tourist and visitor destination along Benjamin Franklin Parkway
February 18, 2014 – Mayor Michael A. Nutter formally announced the selection of the Peebles Corporation and P&A Associates as the developers of a new $85 million 199 room Kimpton Hotel to be built at 1801 Vine Street. Located along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway just one block from the new Barnes Foundation, the availability of this key site provides a rare opportunity to revitalize an important historic building and to create a unique, new destination along Philadelphia’s most prominent thoroughfare.
“We are delighted to announce this major economic development project that will create more than 600 construction and permanent jobs in Philadelphia,” said Mayor Nutter, who made the announcement during a press conference at City Hall. “The addition of a new Kimpton Hotel along the Ben Franklin Parkway will be a great addition to that historic boulevard. This investment demonstrates the continued momentum of our city’s hospitality and tourism industry.”
The 247,000-square-foot building at 1801 Vine Street was completed in 1941 and has served as home to the Family Division of the Court of Common Pleas of the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania since that time. The building is currently listed on the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places, and the planned redevelopment will incorporate its important historic elements, including the preservation and maintenance of its 37 historic interior murals. The Family Division will relocate to a new facility which is under construction at 15th and Arch Streets later this year.
The new hotel will feature 199 guest rooms, 16,000 square feet of spa and fitness space, 14,000 square feet of meeting and event space, and 5,800 square feet for a restaurant and bar. The redevelopment of this property will significantly enhance the Parkway Museums District, generate new tax revenues, and continue the momentum of new commercial and institutional development activity along Vine Street. The hotel will serve Philadelphia’s growing leisure, business, and convention markets, in particular supporting the major arts and culture attractions along the Parkway such as the Barnes Foundation, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Academy of Natural Sciences, the Franklin Institute, and the Free Library of Philadelphia. It will also be the first minority-owned hotel development of its size in Center City Philadelphia.
The Peebles Corporation is the country’s largest African-American real estate development company with a multi-billion dollar development portfolio of luxury hotels, high-rise residential and Class A commercial properties and developments throughout the United States. The company is a diversified real estate developer with a wide range of uses located in major international cities such as New York, Miami, Las Vegas, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.
“We are proud to have been selected by the City of Philadelphia for the development of this national landmark and look forward to working with our partners at P&A and the team at Kimpton in the genesis of Philadelphia’s newest hotel,” said R. Donahue Peebles, Chairman and CEO of The Peebles Corporation. “I am enthusiastic to have the opportunity to work with Mayor Nutter and the City of Philadelphia to revolutionize this iconic property into one of the premier hotels in the country and an economic engine that provides business and career opportunities to the residents and businesses of Philadelphia. We are also committed to ensuring this development sets a new standard for the inclusion of minority business opportunities in Philadelphia. McKissack & McKissack, America’s oldest minority owned construction company will lead this effort during the construction phase.”
The Peebles Corporation and P&A Associates were selected from three finalist proposals in a public and competitive selection process. Their proposal was selected based on a series of criteria that included: a superior proposal from a highly experienced national and local development team; a best-in-class hotel operating partner; a sensitive approach to the historic preservation of this iconic building’s interiors and exterior façade; strong inclusion of minority participation in the ownership and development of the project; and the most feasible overall operating and financing plan. The development team will acquire 1801 Vine Street for $4.5 million.
In October 2012, the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC) issued a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) on behalf of the City and the Philadelphia Authority for Industrial Development (PAID) to solicit proposals from qualified and experienced development firms. In April 2013, a selection committee comprised of PIDC and City representatives evaluated the proposals and invited a shortlist of five developers to participate in a Request for Proposals (RFP) process to identify a developer to implement a dynamic and sustainable hospitality project which would complement and enhance the ongoing public and private investments along the Parkway.
In July 2013, PIDC received three proposals from the shortlisted teams, the result of several teams pairing up together. The three proposals were evaluated based on the quality and feasibility of the proposed development; preservation of historically significant features, fixtures, and objects; compatibility with the surrounding development and the ability to enhance the Parkway Museums District; the demonstrated capacity to finance and execute the project in a timely manner and with limited public support; and overall public benefit.
“As a team, the Peebles Corporation and P&A Associates combine extensive national and local experience with historic renovations and major commercial developments,” said John Grady, President of PIDC. “Add to that a top-quality hotel operator like Kimpton, with a proven track record of success in Philadelphia, and the result is an ideal partnership to develop a dynamic hotel destination that will represent a great new addition to Center City and the Parkway and provide for a terrific reuse of the historic Family Court property.”
Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants is a pioneer of the boutique hotel concept in the United States, bringing extensive experience in creating hotels and visitor experiences in historically certified properties, including their two recent projects in Philadelphia. Both the Hotel Monaco, in the former Lafayette Building, and the Hotel Palomar, in the former Architects Building, are a testament to Kimpton’s ability to transform iconic historic buildings in Philadelphia into 21st Century hotels that attract new and repeat customers to the city and provide outstanding visitor experiences.
“We are thrilled to be teaming up with Peebles and P&A Associates on this exciting new project in Philadelphia,” said Nick Gregory, of Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants. “Our existing properties in the city have proven to be extremely successful and we look forward to this next opportunity to create a unique and dynamic experience for visitors to one of the world’s greatest cultural corridors.”
In order to move the project forward, the Administration will request that City Council authorize the conveyance of 1801 Vine Street to PAID this spring. At that time, PAID will enter into a sales and development agreement with the Peebles Corporation and P&A Associations in order to transfer the property and commence construction in late 2014 or early 2015, with expected completion of the hotel sometime in 2016 or 2017.
About The Peebles Corporation
The Peebles Corporation oversees a national real estate portfolio, including development projects worth nearly $4 billion. The company is a diversified real estate developer with uses ranging from Class-A office towers to four-star hotels, ultra-luxury residential, and mixed use development complexes located in major international cities such as New York, Miami, Las Vegas, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. (and now Philadelphia). Over the past quarter century, The Peebles Corporation has emerged as one of the largest minority owned development corporations in the United States.
About P&A Associates
P&A Associates is a full service real estate development company founded in 1984 by Alan E. Casnoff and Peter L. Shaw. P&A has been developing real estate exclusively in the City of Philadelphia since 1984. Since its inception, P&A has successfully developed large and medium scale properties across asset types, including several historic rehabilitations. Relevant projects include the St. James on Washington Square, the Murano Condominium, the Wallace Building, and the Corn Exchange Building.
About Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants
San Francisco-based Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants is the leading collection of boutique hotels and restaurants in the United States and the acknowledged industry pioneer that first introduced the boutique hotel concept to America. Kimpton is continuously growing and currently operates 60 hotels and nearly 70 restaurants, bars and lounges in 26 cities. For more information, visit www.KimptonHotels.com and www.KimptonRestaurants.com.