Eric Blumenfeld now has all the money he needs to revive the Divine Lorraine, the iconic former hotel that has towered over North Broad Street for years, vacant since 1999, collecting dust and graffiti. The Divine Lorraine was built in the 1890s and designed by the architect Willis Hale.
Patrick Grossi, director of advocacy at the Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia, said that finding an adaptive reuse for a historic building as old and as large as the Divine Lorraine should also be regarded as a preservation win.
On Wednesday, the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority approved a loan for the project worth $2.5 million as well as a $1 million grant from the Neighborhood Transformation Initiative left over from the John Street administration.
That money, combined with a $3.5 million state grant awarded last week, federal historic tax credits worth the same amount, and a $30 million investment from New Jersey real estate lender Billy Procida, will allow Blumenfeld to start work on the redevelopment next month.