In October 2012, the city’s Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC) issued a Request for Qualifications from developers for the acquisition of the Family Court Building at 18th and Vine (court operations are moving to 15th and Arch). PIDC made one thing abundantly clear: They were only accepting proposals “from qualified and experienced development firms with the demonstrated ability to successfully design, finance, and develop historic properties of a similar size, cost, scope, and complexity.” Which narrowed it down. Significantly.
Of nine contenders, three are currently left standing. Logan Square Holdings, which counts Ken Goldenberg as one of its investors, would bring Fairmont Hotels & Resorts. Carl Dranoff would join HRI Properties of New Orleans to create a Starwood Hotels & Resorts property. And Philly’s P&A Associates and the Peebles Corp., which has long had interest in this area, would bring another Kimpton Hotel to town.
Obviously, whichever of the three plans goes into effect, it will mean big changes for the Parkway area, which is already in major transition–and for the better. Some of the recent or pending developments are:
1. The first Mormon Temple in Pennsylvania, sited at 17th and Vine, currently under construction
2. Sister Cities Park, finished and lovely
3. Barnes Museum, finished, lovely and critically successful
4. The Oval, in the process of becoming
5. Rodin Museum, reopened after renovation
6. Museum Towers II, proposed for 18th and Hamilton
If things keep going along like this, people are going to actually want to stay nearby, hence the notion of a luxury hotel.