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The Divine Lorraine Is Open!

divine lorraineThe landmark Divine Lorraine Hotel has been under renovation for some time now.  The Divine Lorraine is being renovated into 100 apartments, with a small boutique hotel and two restaurants.  The developer and management company, EBRM, and its partner management company, TCS Management, held an open house on February 4th.  The open house showed off several newly renovated units on the second floor, which will be identical on every floor of the apartments.  The apartments will be on floors two through eight, and two penthouses on top.  The ninth and tenth floors will be used as a boutique hotel, along with an annex building in the back on Ridge Avenue.  The first floor will have the renovated lobby and a restaurant.  There will be an additional “speakeasy” bar and restaurant in the basement, as well as, a fitness center for the residents and hotel guests.

The Divine Lorraine Hotel was originally built in 1894 as the Lorraine Apartments, then the Lorraine Hotel.  It has a colorful history, including being used as a residence and hotel by the Divine Peace Mission Church between the 1940s and the 2000s.  The church sold the building to developers in 2003, and it changed hands a few times.  Eric Blumenfeld was one of those developers who bought and sold the building, but he bought it again a few years ago and was able to get financing for this current plan.  The Divine Lorraine should be totally renovated by year’s end, with the building’s 1890s windows replaced with similar green period windows and the exterior brick cleaned of soot and graffiti.  The building’s signature neon signs on top were replaced last autumn with new operational signs that can be easily seen from City Hall and Temple University.

The apartments will mostly be one-bedroom units, but each floor will have two two-bedroom units.  They will have GE stainless steel appliances and American Standard bathroom fixtures, with granite countertops and hardwood floors, and a combination washer/dryer in each unit.  Each unit will have exposed brick, many which have tiny nooks that can be used to store books or other items.  Many units will have wooden ledges along the brick walls and plenty of closet space.  Some units have restored balconies outside, however, because of insurance concerns the balconies can’t be accessed by residents and will just be ornamental.  Each floor will have one unit designed for the disabled.

One bedroom units will range from 555 to 683 square feet, except for the two penthouses which will both be about 1,000 square feet.  The two bedroom units will range from 1,081 to 1,282 square feet.  Rents for the one-bedroom units, on floors two through four, range from $1,400 to $1,770 and the rents for the two-bedroom units, on floors two through four, range from $2,550 to $2,810.  The rents for one-bedrooms, on floors five through eight, range from $1,635 to $1,845 and the rents for two-bedrooms, on floors five through eight, range from $2,735 to $3,160.  The penthouses will rent for $1,575 and $1,875.  Parking spaces will be available in a surface parking lot behind the PNC Bank across the street and will cost $150 per month.  Tenants will be able to receive hotel amenities, such as room service; house cleaning; dry cleaning; and concierge service, at an additional cost for each service, but no monthly flat fee.

The renovation of the Divine Lorraine is seen as one of the most important pieces of revitalizing North Broad Street and adjacent neighborhoods.  Already, another developer plans to build a large neighboring apartment complex on the large empty lot next door to the Divine Lorraine.  Several smaller projects are happening on the neighboring blocks of Broad Street, Ridge Avenue, and Fairmount Avenue, and Eric Blumenfeld would like to begin renovating the huge landmark Metropolitan Opera House, a few blocks to the north at Broad and Poplar Streets.  The Divine Lorraine Hotel has become a symbol of North Broad Street, and even North Philadelphia, and in recent years was seen as a negative one.  Now, it will be seen as a wonderful symbol of a revitalized North Broad Street and North Philadelphia, with its bright neon sign beckoning people from Center City to venture further north.

For more information on renting in the Divine Lorraine Hotel Apartments, you can contact Angela Calvanese at angela@tcsmgt.com.

By, Gabriel Gottlieb