The historic Lafayette Building, at 5th & Chestnut Streets, is about to be renovated into a luxury, four star hotel, by Kimpton Hotels, known as Hotel Monaco. The former office building, built in 1906, has been empty for a few years. In case 5th & Chestnut sounds familiar, it is the same address as Independence Hall, which is catercorner to the Lafayette Building, and the Liberty Bell Center, across the street from the new hotel. This will be the first hotel officially on the Independence Mall. The 11-storey Lafayette Building was one of the few early twentieth century office buildings built on what is now the Independence Mall, as that area was mostly industrial until the Mall was created in the 1950s. It sits next to The Bourse, a former stock exchange built in the 1800s, which is now office space and shops. The building was used as an office building until a few years ago, when a developer bought it with plans to convert it to condos, with a modern addition, but has sat vacant since that plan fell through because of the recession.
The Hotel Monaco will have 271 rooms and 12,000 square feet of meeting space, including a 3,200 square foot first floor ballroom facing the Independence Mall. It will have a 120 seat, chef-run restaurant. This will bring more nighttime activity to the Independence Mall, right where it converges with the Old City restaurant row on Chestnut Street. It will, also, be two doors down from the new National Museum of American Jewish History, which just opened up at 5th & Market Streets. Along with the new hotel and retail development being proposed at 5th & Race Streets, it will enliven the Independence Mall at night and provide unrivaled views of the entire Independence Park all the time.
This will be Kimpton’s second hotel in Philadelphia. In 2009, they opened a luxury boutique hotel at 17th & Sansom Streets, called Hotel Palomar, that includes the fancy Square 1682 restaurant. That building was, also, an adaptive reuse of an old office building, which is something that Kimpton specializes in. The Hotel Monaco renovation is already underway and is expected to be completed by the third quarter of 2012, hopefully before July 4th and after the renovation of Independence Hall across the street.
I have a link to the Kimpton website in the first paragraph and pictures of the building below. And, if you’re interested in buying, selling, or renting a home or investment property in this popular neighborhood, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out my Facebook realtor page, Gabriel G. Philly Realtor. And, you can look at our Condo Shop website, www.thecondoshops.com, where you can see our listings nearby and list your own property, and sign onto our Condo Shop Facebook page, here.