Old City building to get new life as hotel

September 15, 2011 2:46:10 PM PDT
An old building in Old City is being turned into a new hotel.

By next summer the historic Lafayette Building on Independence Mall is scheduled to open as the four-star Hotel Monaco Philadelphia. The company wasn't releasing renderings or the budget but they promise sparks.

"There's a little ways to go first," explained Nick Gregory of Kimpton Hotels. "What you're looking at is the skeleton of the building. The Lafayette Building has been around 95% demolished."

It's what's known as an adaptive reuse project - they're turning what was an office, a building built in 1906, into a 268 room luxury hotel.

We're told it sometimes takes a little convincing to re-mold a structure from its original purpose.

Take the ballroom, for example.

"It was probably once 15 different rooms," said Gregory. "Now you're going to have a place where some people are going to have the most important days of their lives."

This is the second Kimpton Hotel in Philadelphia and Mayor Michael Nutter welcomes the addition for local tourism and the expansion of the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

"We certainly have a need for more hotel rooms, upwards of about two thousand. This is helping us with about 10% of that," said Mayor Nutter.

"It's definitely helpful to know what potential lies with the convention center," said Niki Leondakis, Chief Operating Officer of Kimpton Hotels.

The mayor called hospitality a major economic driver in the city. Not only will more hotels encourage more people to come to the city and spend money, but there's also the job creation involved - 400 during construction and 200 full-time when the hotel opens.

Over the course of the construction, the hotel will be including updated pictures of the progress online.

You can find the pictures on their Facebook page by following this link.


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