Divine Lorraine Update: Four “Vetri-Caliber” Restaurants Planned
It’s not a dream, people. The long-planned transformation of the Divine Lorraine Hotel into a luxury apartment building starting to become a reality. It’s now fully funded and Chris Cordaro, vice president with EB Realty Management (EBRM), has let us in on some tantalizing tidbits of information regarding the mother of all redevelopment projects, as well as a few others EBRM properties.
Though Billy Procida, the investor behind the project, said that construction could start on the Divine Lorraine by the end of July, Cordaro tells us they’re currently planning a groundbreaking event of sorts at the site, “probably in early August.”
As you know, New York-based developer RAL is planning a large scale apartment tower/grocery store directly next to the Divine Lorraine on Ridge Avenue. Cordaro said the the two groups have been collaborating closely to make sure the buildings work with each other. As such, a shared green wall will be erected alongside the “Garden Veranda” level of the Divine Lorraine.
That brings us to the retail portion of the project. Cordaro mentioned that they’ve identified restaurateurs for the commercial space, which will now be four new restaurant concepts “of the Vetri-caliber” and not high end retailers.
Cordaro wouldn’t dish on specific names or even cuisines, but EBRM is bringing chef Josh Mims to their Studebaker project and has the aforementioned Marc Vetri’s Osteria at their Lofts at 640 building.
Two large restaurants will be located at street level, with what he called a “grand bar” in between them in the lobby as the hub of the project. The bar would be a place where people could order fine drinks and tapas-like dishes from each of the four restaurants. The two remaining dining options would be located in the Garden Veranda and in the annex to the east, respectively.
This rendering will give you an idea about what the Garden Veranda level might look like in the future:
As for a project that is nearing completion, Cordaro said that they’re 75 percent done with the construction at Mural Lofts at Broad and Spring Garden. The plan is to have it ready to go by October and a model unit should be coming online “soon.” The demand for an apartment at Mural Lofts has been high. Billy Procida told us in June that they have well over 600 people on the waiting list for 57 apartments.
The action isn’t only on North Broad Street, either. EBRM is swapping the upper level garage at Abbotts Square for 47 apartment units, said Cordaro. The garage was mainly used for monthly parking space, but had seen numbers decline recently.