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Behind the Deal: Family Court Building's Transformation

Philadelphia Dining DC

Adaptive, luxurious reuse is coming to the Family Court Building on the Parkway. The City of Philadelphia announced Tuesday that Don Peebles has won the rights to transform the New Deal building into a Kimpton hotel.

The 4.5-star hotel will have 199 rooms, a 14k SF ballroom (we can finally have our debutante ball, just a few years late), a fitness center, and a rooftop lounge. Don also promises a "world-class restaurant," grand entertainment spaces and some of the largest hotel rooms in the market. Peebles Corp has teamed with Navy Yard-based P&A Associates as its local partner in the estimated $85M project. This would be the third hotel managed by Kimpton in Center City following the successful opens of the Hotel Palomar in Rittenhouse and the Hotel Monaco on Independence Square.

Don cites his team's track record of combining historic architectural character with luxury interior design. He's also excited about creating jobs geared to local residents and working with nationally established MWBEs including construction contractor McKissack and investment manager MacFarlane Partners. Redeveloping this landmark "will significantly enhance the Parkway Museums District, generate new tax revenues, and continue the momentum of new commercial and institutional development activity along Vine Street."

P&A will assist in obtaining building permits and zoning approvals and will also be involved in construction. (Snapped: partners Alan Casnoff and Peter Shaw plus Jeff Casnoff, flanking a model of the Murano, completed in 2008; Robert Shaw is also on the project team.) Peter tells us the hotel is P&A's first foray into hospitality after numerous office and multifamily projects, and they're thrilled to be working with Don. He says that their proposal will do the greatest justice (pun clearly intended) to the Family Court's "stunning" features, namely its 37 WPA-era murals. 

Hotel work will commence once the Family Court moves into its new 670k SF home at 16th and JFK. PIDC, which issued the RFP, will transfer the old Family Court to the winning bidders once the transition is complete. The developers will begin applying for federal historic tax credits in the meantime, and if the City moves out later this year as expected, Peter says to watch for a 2015 opening.