• Learn about the conditions that led to Frank Furness' most incredible masterworks, including the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts seen here, on Wednesday.
      Learn about the conditions that led to Frank Furness' most incredible masterworks, including the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts seen here, on Wednesday.

May 5: Development Roundup: $31.5m for Divine Lorraine | University City DIGSAU hotel | Westrum's new 31 Brewerytown | Recasting the Gallery | Brownfield tax incentives

Welcome to the working week, Streeters, happy Cinco de Mayo and enjoy Hoagie Day. Here’s a development roundup to start off your Monday:

The Divine Lorraine enchanted NJ-based lender Billy Procida. The Inquirer reports that Procida Funding & Advisors will lend developer Eric Blumenfeld’s EB Realty Management $31.5 million to restore and redevelop the Divine Lorraine. The commitment will allow the project to move forward at last. Blumenfeld will convert the Divine Lorraine into 126 apartments and 21,000 square feet of commercial space. Blumenfeld is also seeking $5 million in state Redevelopment Capital Assistance Program funding. “’If there was ever a great real estate investment opportunity since Tribeca, the Meatpacking District, South Bronx and Harlem,’ [Procida] said, ‘it's definitely Philly.’”

DIGSAU designed a new hotel for the northwest corner of 33rd and Chestnut. The Business Journal reports the 212-room Study Hotel will be developed through a long-term lease between Drexel and Hospitality 3. There is a Study Hotel at Yale, which caters to university communities.

Westrum returns to building in Brewerytown with a planned two-building, 64-unit apartment complex at 31st and West Thompson. The Business Journal reports 31 Brewerytown will cost about $10 million and finds Westrum pursuing its first development in the neighborhood since the recession and completing Brewerytown Square.

While the Gallery has a remarkably uninviting design, it’s not an economic failure. How can it improve? By broadening its appeal. As the mall’s owner PREIT looks to renovate the aging mall it’s important not to overlook the Gallery’s relative strengths: transit-oriented shopping destination, safe space for teens and seniors, and anchor of Market Street. In her Friday column Inga Saffron looks into why Century 21 might draw back coveted middle-class shoppers to the Gallery by appealing to a wider range of customers. "We don't need different customers," insists [PREIT’s Joseph] Coradino. "We need more customers."

A bill to reestablish tax incentives to clean and redevelop brownfields was introduced in Congress last week. Smart Growth America notes that the Brownfields Tax Incentive, enacted in 1997 and extended through 2011, enabled a dollar for dollar tax deduction to encourage the revitalization of ex-industrial properties. The proposed legislation would offer the credit through 2018.


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