Divine Lorraine may shine once again

    Philadelphia considers directing federal funds to help redevelop the former hotel, an architectural gem, if the developer’s application to the state for low-income housing tax credits is successful.

    A landmark building on North Broad Street that has fallen into disrepair since its days as a hotel and a mecca for followers of a cultlike religious figure, could finally be on track for a rebirth.

    The magnificent hulk of a building at Broad and Fairmount in Philadelphia may be covered in graffiti now, but the Divine Lorraine was once an architectural gem.

    Developers want to bring the Divine Lorraine back, but of course that requires money. So the city has agreed to put up almost $3.4 million toward the project, if the developer’s application to the state for low-income housing tax credits is successful.

    Paul Chrystie, a spokesman for the city’s Office of Housing and Community Development, said Tuesday the money the city would put up is intended for this sort of project.

    “They are federal funds — home funds and community development block grant funds that the city gets and they are for purposes like this,” said Chrystie. “Taking an underutilized structure and enabling it to be repurposed and also having that create revitalization in the area immediately adjacent to it.”

    Chrystie said about half the building’s floors would be turned into affordable housing. He said the developers expect to find out if they’ve received the low-income housing tax credits next summer.

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