Back in November of 2018, developer Pearl Properties purchased the Embassy Suites at 1776 Benjamin Franklin Parkway for $59.8 million. We heard last October that the former TGI Fridays on the ground level of the building would be transformed into a brewpub. Victory Brewing Company of Downingtown announced that they would be opening a 2-story, 14,000 square foot brewery and taproom along the Parway with multiple outdoor areas. Victory planned on opening in late 2020. We’re not sure if that timeline is still accurate.
After Pearl’s acquisition was announced, all signs pointed to the company continuing to operate the building as a hotel. However, last week, zoning permits were pulled to convert the hotel into 289 residential units. We decided to do some investigating and called the Embassy Suites. An automated message alerted us that the hotel suspended operations on July 3rd. No information on when, if ever, the hotel would re-open was given.
With multiple hotels recently coming online in Center City and currently under construction, we imagine that Pearl decided to pivot during this time of uncertainty for the hospitality industry. An apartment building in such an iconic location will have no problem leasing up. However, relying on business travel and tourism is still a big risk as it could be several years before the sector rebounds.
The hotel suites were renovated shortly before Pearl acquired the building. It will be interesting to see how they reconfigure the floor plans to accommodate apartment usage. As this building was originally constructed as apartments, it may not be too difficult of a task. We also wonder if Pearl plans to do any exterior renovations to the tower portion of the building. The shape of the structure is unique, but we think it could use some jazzing up.
How do you feel about this conversion project and the addition of a brewpub along the Parkway?
Kyle is a Philadelphia real estate agent on the Agent PHL team at Compass, a homeowner, and a real estate investor in Philadelphia. Kyle uses his extensive Philadelphia real estate market knowledge to help his clients find homes, investment properties, and development opportunities.
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