Sunday, October 3, 2010

Lafayette Building gets key OK for hotel conversion

"The Lafayette Building overlooking Independence Hall took another step to becoming a hotel.

Philadelphia’s zoning board of adjustment unanimously approved yesterday use of a restaurant and food service facility that will likely operate from the former office high rise. Hotel use was already permitted by its current zoning. The project also received a letter of support from the Old City Civic Association, an organization that reviews development projects in the historic neighborhood.

Kimpton Hotels put Lafayette Building under agreement with the intention of converting the property into a 270-room hotel. The 11-story, 195,000-square-foot historic building would be the only hotel with unobstructed views of Independence Hall, and sits among the features of Independence National Historical Park. Its direct competitor is the Omni, just a few doors down on Chestnut Street. The hotel would have a restaurant at the corner of 5th and Chestnut and roughly 10,000 to 12,000 square feet of meeting and ballroom space."

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