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  #41  
Old Posted Mar 5, 2009, 3:36 PM
phillyscooter phillyscooter is offline
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Weird Angles

I agree; the rendering makes Chestnut Street look like a 6 lane boulevard in Los Angeles. It also feels a bit done before with the bump out. Overall, I like what is going on up top v. below...the garage is influencing a very boxy bottom...
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  #42  
Old Posted Mar 6, 2009, 6:20 PM
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I think it looks grand. Hopefully, there will be a nice choice of materials. I'm glad it's not just glass.
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  #43  
Old Posted Mar 6, 2009, 8:03 PM
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It looks to be very handsome, with lots of neo-Art Deco details along the base. Like I said before, get rid of that garage and do something more interesting with the lower floors, something that better deserves the Waldorf sitting atop it. This was, is, and remains to be my main problem with this building, and very few buildings are able to successfully disguise their podiums enough to not mar the visual experience...The only time when podiums ought to be built is when it's physically infeasible to bury them underground, like on the waterfront.
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  #44  
Old Posted May 8, 2009, 8:10 AM
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I read somewhere, recently, that one of the Lenfests bought a condo at Liberty II.

Image: http://media.philly.com/images/300*3...ladorf08-e.JPG

CLEM MURRAY / Staff Photographer
A parking lot now occupies the space where the now-delayed Waldorf Astoria hotel complex was to go.


from here: http://www.philly.com/inquirer/busin...t_on_hold.html


Fri, May. 8, 2009

Planned Waldorf Astoria complex put on hold

By Suzette Parmley
Inquirer Staff Writer

The 58-story Waldorf Astoria Hotel planned for 1441 Chestnut St., next to the Ritz-Carlton in Center City, is officially on ice.

The $420 million project was to include upscale retail, a signature restaurant, seven floors of valet parking, and a spa, as well as 136 luxury condos, starting at $1 million, above a five-star hotel.

Timothy J. Mahoney III, president and chief executive officer of Mariner Commercial Properties Inc., of Ardmore, has sold his stake in the project to his partner, Brook Lenfest of Brooks Capital Group, of Bala Cynwyd.

"We realized there were structural problems in the marketplace right now, including the credit markets, softening prices, and oversupply of competing inventory," Mahoney said yesterday, in confirming his decision to sell his 50 percent stake to Lenfest two weeks ago. "We needed to come up with a strategy, and we couldn't see eye to eye on one."

The change in ownership, along with a deteriorating luxury-condo market and lack of lending, makes the timing for the project an unknown.

The Waldorf is one of nine major hotel projects proposed for Center City that have now either been delayed or indefinitely put on hold.

The former partnership envisioned a Waldorf Astoria Hotel & Residences complex on the half-acre site next to the Residences at Ritz-Carlton Tower, next to its namesake hotel.

Mahoney said in late October that his target condo buyers would be well-to-do empty nesters abandoning big homes in the suburbs for the big city.

He originally estimated construction on the project to start in January with co-developer Gatehouse Capital Corp., a national real estate investment and development firm based in Dallas. The hotel was expected to open in the summer of 2012.

Lenfest said that Gatehouse was no longer involved and that construction was not likely to start anytime soon.

"It's impossible to get lending for this," Lenfest said yesterday. "There's just no access to capital right now. Even if I pre-sold 100 percent of the residential units, I couldn't find a lender today."

Lenfest said he was still under a management contract with Hilton Hotels Corp., which owns the Waldorf brand, to fly the Waldorf flag at the proposed hotel.

"We're still committed to the project," said Kimo Bertram, director of development for Hilton. "We're in support of the developer to get the project finished."

Lenfest said that a $6.1 million sales office for Waldorf Astoria condos, housed at the former Sharper Image building at 1518 Walnut St., never opened because of dismal market conditions.

It could be a long wait, say hospitality experts. Besides the luxury-condo market cooling considerably, the luxury-hotel sector is struggling. The sector reported a 12.6 percent decline in average daily rates, the highest among the city's five hotel sectors in March, and an 18.4 percent drop in revenue per available room, the second-highest decrease, according to Smith Travel Research.

"Times are admittedly difficult right now for prospective hotel developers," said Peter Tyson of PKF Consulting in Center City. "Travel levels are down due to the economy, and most traditional financing sources are lying in the weeds waiting for someone to make the first loan."

For Mahoney, relinquishing the project was not easy. He spent nine years assembling the land and coming up with the concept for the Waldorf, but economic realities and a generous offer persuaded him to sell.

"The big unknown is what happens with commercial mortgage-backed securities," he said. "There is no market right now.

"As long as that is shut down, there is going to be a further drag on capital's willingness to fund new projects, and particularly, very large complex projects like ours was. It's not ours anymore," he said.

"It's completely Brook's baby now."
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  #45  
Old Posted May 8, 2009, 11:28 AM
Pennsgrant Pennsgrant is offline
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Now that Mahoney is out of the picture this project might actually have a chance.

Now if we can get someone to buyout 1601 Vine from Grasso that might be 2 projects that see the light of day.
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  #46  
Old Posted May 8, 2009, 11:54 AM
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The same will be said for ACC...no one is building anything without a loan.
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  #47  
Old Posted May 8, 2009, 5:12 PM
phillyscooter phillyscooter is offline
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The irony of the Mahoney departure and how the site could have been one parcel with RATR... well, hopefully this delay will get rid of the garage podium box baloney....
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  #48  
Old Posted Dec 31, 2009, 7:41 PM
Skintreesnail Skintreesnail is online now
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Not sure if this means anything, but I saw that the Philadelphia opening is scheduled for 2013 on the Waldorf Astoria website:

http://www.waldorfastoria.com/future-openings/index.cfm
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  #49  
Old Posted Jan 2, 2010, 4:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Skintreesnail View Post
Not sure if this means anything, but I saw that the Philadelphia opening is scheduled for 2013 on the Waldorf Astoria website:

http://www.waldorfastoria.com/future-openings/index.cfm
Nice find. The original posting found here lists a Spring 2012 opening. Hopefully this 2013 opening is a firm date the company is now using as I believe it was/is on-hold due to the recession.

Good stuff if this is moving forward!
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  #50  
Old Posted Jan 2, 2010, 5:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skintreesnail View Post
Not sure if this means anything, but I saw that the Philadelphia opening is scheduled for 2013 on the Waldorf Astoria website:

http://www.waldorfastoria.com/future-openings/index.cfm
I don't think it means anything. Maloney already closed up the sales shop...Waldorf is either being exceptionally optimistic or hasn't updated their new openings in a while.
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  #51  
Old Posted Jan 4, 2010, 1:25 PM
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Lenfest is solely behind this project now...no one has heard a peep since April 08'.
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  #52  
Old Posted Jan 4, 2010, 3:10 PM
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I'm guessing that this is right near City Hall?

Also, it looks like there's a lot of EMB members on this site. When did you all get here? I've been on here for a while now.
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  #53  
Old Posted Jan 4, 2010, 8:49 PM
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Originally Posted by We Got Five View Post
Lenfest is solely behind this project now...no one has heard a peep since April 08'.
If Lenfest is behind this project it WILL happen. He has enough money to buy and populate small planets.
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  #54  
Old Posted Jan 4, 2010, 11:43 PM
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Originally Posted by xzmattzx View Post
I'm guessing that this is right near City Hall?
About a block away. This will be on the same block as the recently completed Ritz Carolton Residence.
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  #55  
Old Posted Jan 5, 2010, 11:51 PM
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Originally Posted by relnahe View Post
If Lenfest is behind this project it WILL happen. He has enough money to buy and populate small planets.
But do you think Lenfest is willing to fund this solely from his private coffers? If he was, don't you think construction would have begun immediately upon approval?
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  #56  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2010, 1:58 PM
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Originally Posted by hammersklavier View Post
But do you think Lenfest is willing to fund this solely from his private coffers? If he was, don't you think construction would have begun immediately upon approval?
Funding is one thing, however what is most important is how much positive cash flow can this structure provide for the developer upon completion.
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  #57  
Old Posted Jan 11, 2010, 6:17 AM
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I just came across these photos of a scale model of the building.

From Howard Architectural Models:









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  #58  
Old Posted Jan 11, 2010, 1:24 PM
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Great find VZ! The detail on those models is amazing.
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  #59  
Old Posted Jan 11, 2010, 4:45 PM
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Ditto on the good find - sure hope it comes to fruition one day, that 670' would have a significant impact on the skyline =)
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  #60  
Old Posted Jan 11, 2010, 5:35 PM
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Originally Posted by We Got Five View Post
The detail on those models is amazing.
Except that the cars are going the wrong way!
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