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  #1  
Old Posted Nov 27, 2008, 4:41 PM
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PHILADELPHIA | Kimpton Monaco Hotel (& Boyd Restoration) | 320 FT / 97 M | 28 FLOORS

Kimpton Monaco Hotel and Boyd Theatre Restoration

Website: Kimpton Hotels

Location, Hotel: Chestnut, Sansom and 20th Streets, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Location, Boyd Theatre: 1910 Chestnut, Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Usage: Hotel, theater and restaurants
Height: 320' (97 meters)
Floors: 28
Architects: Martinez + Johnson Architecture
Developers: ARCWheeler in association with Kimpton Hotel and Restaurant Group Inc.
Estimated Cost: $135,000,000
Groundbreaking: Late 2009
Completion: TBA

Background:
Alexander R. Boyd's Art Deco masterpiece, The Boyd Theatre (Hoffman-Henon Co.) opened on Christmas Day, 1928.  The Boyd on 1910 Chestnut Street was once one of many Center City theaters built during the Golden Age of Movie Palaces.  Sadly, most of them have been demolished or converted to commercial properties.  The stately Mastbaum Theatre (1929) at 2001 Market Street was demolished in 1958.  The regal Aldine Theatre (1921) at 1826 Chestnut Street is now a CVS Pharmacy. Shortly after opening, the Boyd was sold to Warner Brothers who held on to it until 1971 at which time it was sold to the Sameric Corp. who rebranded it as the Sam Eric.  In 1988 it was sold again to United Artists who held it for 10 years before selling it to the Goldenberg Group.  The theater officially closed in 2002 and was threatened with demolition.  In June, 2002, concerned citizens organized the Committee to Save the Sameric which later became the Friends of the Boyd, Inc.  In late March, 2005, Clear Channel took ownership of the Boyd, but the steep cost of resurrecting this magnificent movie palace proved to be too burdensome.  On September 13, 2006, Clear Channel ceased renovations and once again the Boyd had a date with a wrecking ball in its future.  In March of 2007, Clear Channel's parent company, Live Nation, was seeking to sell the theater to a developer who might demolish it.  The Friends of the Boyd staged rallies outside the boarded up front of theater and sent petitions to Philadelphia City Council and the Mayor to prevent such a transaction from happening.  On May 20, 2008 the National Trust for Historic Preservation list the Boyd as one of the most endangered historic places (number 11).  On August 8, 2008 the Philadelphia Historical Commission voted to add the Boyd Theatre to the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places.  This designation would protect the Boyd's exterior but did little for the amazing but dilapidated interior.  Enter ARC Wheeler.

On September 9, 2008, Philadelphia developer Harold "Hal" Wheeler signed an agreement to purchase the Boyd Theatre from Live Nation in order to do a complete restoration of the historic theater to become an entertainment destination complete with a hotel tower managed by the Monaco division of Kimpton Hotels.  The hotel's footprint is very contorted site atop a tight urban landscape. The hotel meets the street on three sides, a 40 foot frontage on Chestnut Street, 20 feet of 20th and about 65 feet on Sansom.  The see more renderings and elevations, click here to see Late1's photos from the November 18th Philadelphia City Planning Commission meeting.

Further reading is here, here, here and here.

The Friends of the Boyd

Images

Image courtesy of Martinez + Johnson Architecture














Exterior view of the Boyd on opening day 1928. Irvin R. Glazer Theater Collection at the Athenaeum of Philadelphia


Interior view of the Boyd Theatre,  Photo by Rob Bender: National Trust for Historic Preservation

Last edited by Swinefeld; Feb 2, 2009 at 3:14 PM. Reason: new renderings and elevations
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  #2  
Old Posted Nov 27, 2008, 5:41 PM
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Details from the presentation at the PCPC meeting

From my post on Philly VII:

The slide show they had at the PCPC meeting was very interesting. They plan on restoring the Chestnut St facade to it is original 1928 appearance as well as restoring the lobby and theater seating area. They will tear down the stage house (which is located back along Samson St) and build the tower's base there. The footprint of the building is really awkward, but their ideas look great. There will be a driveway entrance, along with a covered landscaped walkway coming in from 20th St (about mid-block) which will then elbow to the right and exit onto Samson. There will be a street level restaurant facing Samson and that driveway. Hal Wheeler mentioned that they are trying to help convert Sansom from a service road into an active street.

The hotel's lobby will be up on the 5th floor which is above the roof line of the theater and facing 19th St. It will cantilever out over that roof with a neat curved glass wall (see the picture above). On the opposite side of the building (facing 20th st) the roof of the covered walkway will curve upward, mimicking the curve on the opposite side. The tower will not be Art Deco like the Theater Entrance building, but will incorporate the color scheme and design elements.

One of the interesting things they mentioned was that they are going to restore the asbestos fireproof curtain and encapsulate it to make it safe.

They also discussed how the back wall of the stage will be retractable, as Ninjawho mentioned on the ACC thread. It will open up to the restaurant so that when there are no events in the theater, they can set tables up on the stage and the diners can enjoy the view of the restored Art Deco theater's interior.

Additionally, they will be able to remove the lower level theater seating to provide a flat floor for banquets and other events. They plan on installing partitions so the balcony seating area can be closed off from the lower level so two functions could occur at the same time.

All in all, an excellent project. They are applying for all sorts of historic preservation credits. I hope they get them and they can begin the restoration work.
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  #3  
Old Posted Nov 28, 2008, 3:27 PM
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Sounds like an exciting plan. The shape is unexpected and should contrast well.
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  #4  
Old Posted Nov 28, 2008, 5:26 PM
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I like this. Very interesting proposal
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  #5  
Old Posted Nov 29, 2008, 12:13 AM
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The developer, ARCWheeler, is a very determined and proven developer. Even if this takes 10 years to complete, it will happen. Hal Wheeler is very persistent.
Concerning the project, another great one for Philly...developing and preserving the old and beautiful, but bringing in the ultimate in modern.
btw, Swine is the best at starting building threads.
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  #6  
Old Posted Dec 1, 2008, 8:28 PM
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Remember how long it took to bring 10 Ritt to fruition? How quickly do you think some NIMBYs are going to pop out of the brickwork? Honestly, the level of NIMBYism in this city is just preposterous...

It is really amazing how Hal is going to put what he wants to put into the Boyd project, make it historic and sleek, at the same time archaic and chique (chique archaïque, anybody?) ARCWheeler is persistent, and that's a good thing, because I'd really to see this project realized.
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  #7  
Old Posted Dec 1, 2008, 9:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hammersklavier View Post
Remember how long it took to bring 10 Ritt to fruition? How quickly do you think some NIMBYs are going to pop out of the brickwork? Honestly, the level of NIMBYism in this city is just preposterous...
I don't think it will be that bad for this project because the same NIMBYs who would oppose the hotel tower are the same people who are in favor of preserving the Boyd. It's almost as if the two groups cancel each other out.
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  #8  
Old Posted Dec 1, 2008, 9:52 PM
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Kimptons everywhere

Correct me if i'm off base here but does this proposal not make 3 potential Kimpton Hotels in CC? #1 is the architects building currently under construction. #2 is the Morris building across from the Comcast center on 17th and Arch. and now this baby. Not that i wouldnt like to see all three and especially this one but it doesnt seem very realistic that all three would be a Kimpton.
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  #9  
Old Posted Dec 2, 2008, 1:18 PM
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Confirmed - this is the 3rd location for Kimpton. It's very common to see multiple hotels in major cities. They specialize in refurbishing buildings and turning them into beautiful 4 star hotels. The first two are already underway and I would put this project under the "highly likely" umbrella. The right people are in play here.
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  #10  
Old Posted Dec 2, 2008, 4:00 PM
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I agree...this project sounded full-steam ahead at the PCPC meeting a few weeks ago, and all of the ACC NIMBYs were there and i heard two of them sitting behind my say, "Now THAT's one project I DO support." They were both cranky and old, and didn't seem to be playing with a full deck of cards, if you know what I mean...
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  #11  
Old Posted Dec 6, 2008, 9:47 PM
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I just found a video from that meeting that the PlanPhilly people taped! Check it out! http://www.planphilly.com/node/4487
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  #12  
Old Posted Dec 16, 2008, 9:41 AM
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theater first

from here (full read): http://changingskyline.blogspot.com/...r-part-ii.html

Saving the Boyd Theater, Part II

This will be a big week in the life of Chestnut's Street's Boyd Theater. Having narrowly escaped a threatened demolition, the theater is now being used as the means to leverage a glamorous new hotel on Sansom Street that will operate under the Kimpton's Monaco flag. The project's developer, Hal Wheeler, will be making stops at the Planning Commission Tuesday (1 p.m.) and the Zoning Board of Adjustment on Wednesday to seek the city's blessing for the curving, 320-foot hotel tower.

There's a lot to like about the design, by Martinez + Johnson Architects, who are known for their theater restorations. They did a huge amount of research on the theater when they were employed by Live Nation, which had planned to convert the movie house to a venue for Broadway-style shows. They even uncovered some decoration that had been masked by previous renovations. When developer Hal Wheeler agreed recently to buy the building and build the hotel, he wisely took on the same architects. Their beautifully detailed renovation drawings promise good things for the neglected theater. You can read some of the recent saga here and here in my columns, or go to the Friends of the Boyd website

Given the frozen state of real estate, you can't help but wonder how the developer expects to pull off this $130 million project. But the Boyd project actually has more going for it financially that some other recently proposed designs (ie. ACC). For starters, the financial world is likely to look more kindly on hotel projects because of the anticipated need for more guest rooms after the expanded convention center is finished in 2011. Wheeler's strategy for financing the project also taps into a variety of money pots. He plans to have the project qualify for federal historic tax credits. More immediately, he is applying for a $12 million grant from a state fund devoted to cultural projects. He's looking for additional federal tax credits for projects in blighted areas, which, believe it not, includes Center City. All in all, Wheeler says he feels confident that he can start construction in late 2009. He's even considering opening the theater first, before the hotel tower is completed.
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  #13  
Old Posted Dec 16, 2008, 1:23 PM
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That's great to hear. As indicated previously, the right people are in play here. This project will do wonders for that block.
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  #14  
Old Posted Dec 16, 2008, 11:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bucks native View Post
"But the Boyd project actually has more going for it financially that some other recently proposed designs (ie. ACC)."
Um, ACC's funding is probably as robust as it can get in this economy. What is he getting at? Does Wheeler have pure cash?
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  #15  
Old Posted Dec 17, 2008, 3:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don098 View Post
Um, ACC's funding is probably as robust as it can get in this economy. What is he getting at? Does Wheeler have pure cash?
Yep. Gold galore. Gold gold gold, newest purest gold...
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  #16  
Old Posted Dec 17, 2008, 4:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hammersklavier View Post
Yep. Gold galore. Gold gold gold, newest purest gold...
Arc Wheeler = Joe the Jeweler?
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  #17  
Old Posted Dec 17, 2008, 6:49 PM
McBane McBane is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don098 View Post
all of the ACC NIMBYs were there and i heard two of them sitting behind my say, "Now THAT's one project I DO support." They were both cranky and old, and didn't seem to be playing with a full deck of cards, if you know what I mean...
Of course they support it - it's not in their backyard. Swap out the church and the theater and put that proposal on Arch St. and see how quickly those NIMBYs are suddenly against it. It just goes to show how idiotic these people are. A good project is only good if it's not in their neighborhood. The same argument that 19th and Arch isn't the business district could theoretically be argued by those in the 19th and Chestnut vicinity. Of course you and I would say that both definitions of the CBD are ridiculous.

That said, I am certain that any NIMBY presence will be silenced here. FOB has seen too many proposals come and go. There are holding on this one for dear life as it is the most viable.
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  #18  
Old Posted Jan 7, 2009, 7:00 PM
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Inga Blog...

Quote:
New Year, New Doubts about Projects
Now that we're rested and clear-eyed again, we can start the New Year by recalculating the odds for the Philadelphia projects still on the boards. The New York Times ran a story the day after Christmas reporting that $5 billion worth of Big Apple construction has been delayed or cancelled. In Philadelphia, it's been evident for awhile that any project not already in the ground is dead, save perhaps for a couple of well-placed hotels hoping to benefit from the state-funded convention center expansion.

One of the lucky ones seemed to be ARCWheeler's sloping glass hotel tower next to the Boyd Theater. His development plan is deeply thought out and he has identified multiple sources of funding (see earlier post). But word came last week from Howard Haas at the Friends of Boyd that the developer has again decided to postpone the real estate closing for the theater and adjacent parking lot site, this time from January to February. Obtaining financing has got to be tough these days. PlanPhilly has a list of other projects it considers up in the air: Stamper Square, 1600 Vine Street, PhillyLive. Of course, you may want to add a couple of other highly speculative ventures, like the American Commerce Center and the Waldorf-Astoria South to the list.

There are, however, a few projects that may actually gain momentum from the country's deepening economic turmoil and the Obama administration's planned infrastructure investments. When the nation's governors met in Philadelphia recently to discuss priorities, they gave high importance to the Philadelphia Museum of Art's $500 million expansion plan. Alas, the feds wouldn't fund the snazzy new underground galleries, which are being designed by Frank Gehry. But according to museum officials, they might be able tap into the infrastructure pot to redo the art temple's ancient heating, ventilation and wiring systems. They might also be able to build a desperately needed, new loading dock, so they would no longer have to accept art deliveries in the same bays where they put out the trash. Not sexy stuff, but it would make the Gehry galleries more doable.
http://changingskyline.blogspot.com/

Woo hoooo for economic woes
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Old Posted Feb 2, 2009, 3:03 PM
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From the Preservation Alliance website

Boyd Theater Deal Targeted to Close in February

Developer ARC Wheeler's proposal to restore the historic Art Deco Boyd Theater and build a $90 million hotel and entertainment complex has received final approvals from the Planning Commission and the Zoning Board of Adjustment. The developer has an agreement of sale with Live Nation for the theater and is expected to go to settlement in February.

The proposed project includes full restoration of the theater's interior and exterior to its original Art Deco character and the addition of a 28-story hotel connected to the theater. Construction of the hotel will require demolition of the existing stage house and construction of a new stage house as part of the hotel. The project receive unanimous approval from the Historical Commission in November.

The Preservation Alliance has agreed to serve as the nonprofit partner for the project to assist in obtaining public and philanthropic funding for full restoration of the theater.
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  #20  
Old Posted Feb 2, 2009, 6:32 PM
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Thanks for posting swinefeld - great news. In fact, probaly the best news we've had in several weeks.
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