By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that one of the city’s historic buildings located at Fifth and Chestnut Streets will be converted into a luxury hotel. During the groundbreaking ceremony that was held at the site last week, Mayor Nutter welcomed the $87 million redevelopment project that aims to transform the 195,000-square-foot Lafayette Building into a new four-star Hotel Monaco. Apart from its ambitious conversion plans, the project will also have an impact on the local economy by creating 200 permanent jobs and 400 construction jobs.
With 268 guest rooms overlooking Independence Mall, Hotel Monaco will be one of only two city hotels to open next year. The developer, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants of San Francisco, purchased the 11-story vacant Lafayette Building from New York-based Northern Group in October last year for $11.5 million, according to the Inquirer. Once completed, the new boutique hotel will feature a 130-seat chef-driven restaurant at the corner of Fifth and Chestnut Streets, 14,000 square feet of meeting space, 3,200 square feet of ballroom space and a rooftop lounge designed to accommodate up to 250 people.
The Philadelphia Inquirer also notes the opening of a new 25-unit condominium complex in Camden’s Cooper Plaza neighborhood. The $7 million housing project developed by Newark, N.J.-based M&M Development L.L.C. for several employees of the Cooper University Hospital includes one- and two-bedrooms units, a fitness center, a clubhouse and a rooftop garden.