The luxury hotel, slated to open in late 1999, will be developed by
the Philadelphia-based Arden Group and will be operated by Grand Bay Hotels,
one of the proprietary brand names in the Luxury Division of Patriot American
Hospitality, Inc.. Based in Dallas, Patriot American Hospitality, Inc. is one of only two paired-share hotel real estate investment trusts (REITs) in the country.
Also participating in today's announcement were Craig A. Spencer, president
and CEO of The Arden Group; Jerry Thoele, president of Grand Bay Hotels;
and Karim Alibhai, founder and principal of the Gencom Group, an
important investor in the project, and president and COO of Patriot American Hospitality Operating Company,
whose shares are paired and traded as a single unit with Patriot American Hospitality, Inc.
Mayor Rendell said that the City was thrilled to have the historic Mellon
property open its doors once again,
``This is a landmark property, not only for its architectural merit, but also because of its strategic location,'' said
The Mayor also said the involvement of Patriot American Hospitality
Operating Company signals the importance
of this project to the growth of Philadelphia's hotel industry.
Said Thoele of Grand Bay Hotels, ``Our company is committed to managing
the premier business and leisure hotel in Philadelphia. We're confident
that as our plans come to fruition, the Grand Bay Hotel, Philadelphia will
than live up to this goal.''
``It's exciting to be part of a project that will so positively impact
one of the nation's growing tourism centers,''
said Alibhai of the Gencom Group and Patriot American Hospitality Operating Company. ``A new hotel in
Philadelphia -- and especially one of this caliber -- is key for Patriot American Hospitality as we continue to build
our luxury brand of Grand Bay Hotels.''
The two buildings that will comprise the Grand Bay Hotel, Philadelphia
are a 71,305-square-foot rotunda and a
30-story, 278,695-square-foot tower. They sit at the gateway to the emerging Avenue of the Arts, the city's
$350-million revitalization that is turning Broad Street, both north and south of City Hall, into a thriving arts
center. The hotel will bear the address of One Avenue of the Arts.
Spencer, whose Arden Group acquired the Tower from Mellon Bank in 1993,
followed by control of the Dome in
1996, commented, ``We applaud Mellon Bank for its willingness to make way for this new hotel that's so
important to the city's revitalization efforts.''
A $71.5 million renovation is currently underway in the Tower, which
has been closed since 1991, and the
adjacent Dome. The Tower will house the new hotel's reception area, all guest rooms, 25,000 square feet of
meeting and ballroom space, and a complete health and fitness facility. Among the guest accommodations will be
35 luxurious suites. A bi-level Presidential Suite, located on the Tower's top two floors, will face City Hall and will
offer exceptional views of the city.
The Dome will be converted into public areas for the hotel, including
three restaurants, two bars and a Grand
Ballroom that promises to be in great demand for social functions. These new spaces will be completely
renovated while maintaining the integrity of the Dome's original architecture.
The public financing components of the project include a $16-million
loan from the U.S. Department of Housing
and Urban Development, called a HUD Section 108 loan, and a proposed $3.1 million Urban Development Action
Grant (UDAG loan). Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC), the City of Philadelphia's economic
development arm, structured the public financing.
Grand Bay Hotels includes the flagship Grand Bay Hotel in Miami (Coconut
Grove), Florida, which has been
recognized by the Wall Street Journal as one of the Top 10 Hotels in a Major Metropolitan Area and as one of the Top 25 North American Hotels by Conde Nast Traveler. In February 1997, the spectacular Grand Bay Hotel Puerto de la Navidad opened near Manzanillo, Mexico. In addition to the Philadelphia hotel, Grand Bay properties,
planned and under development, include premier resorts in Key Biscayne, Florida; Lake Las Vegas, Nevada; and
near Panama City, Panama; as well as grand luxe hotels in Toronto, Chicago and New York.
Based in Dallas, Patriot American Hospitality, Inc. is currently the
nation's second-largest hotel real estate
investment trust (REIT) with a portfolio comprised of 80 hotels and resorts with approximately 20,099 rooms and,
paired together with Patriot American Hospitality Operating Company, is one of only two paired-share hotel
REITs in the country.