Hidden City Daily reports that “developer Eric Blumenfeld appears to be close to acquiring the note on the Divine Lorraine hotel held by Amalgamated Bank, our sources say, and has plans to acquire the property at Sheriff’s sale.”
You’ll remember that Blumenfeld has already owned the Divine Lorraine as part of a group of investors, which sold the property for $10.1 million to yet another group of investors (both local and Dutch) back in 2006. Meanwhile Blumenfeld has steadily grown his North Broad Street empire with interesting mixed-use conversions, and remained interested in the Divine Lorraine.
Back in February Mayor Nutter pledged that his administration would find a way to redevelop the Divine Lorraine in a speech to the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce. Since then we’ve seen a small fire, calls for the city to seal the building better more securely (which they did), new L&I violations issued, and several suitors for the property were discussed.
In March Blumenfeld went public with a bold concept to turn the land surrounding the Divine Lorraine into an educational campus, complete with a Marc Vetri cafeteria. The hope being that the new development will subsidize the cost of restoration and reconstruction within the Divine Lorraine.
Could Blumenfeld’s move finally turn the tide of decay and neglect at the Divine Lorraine? Fingers crossed.