Thursday, January 7, 2016

Hyde Hotel

If you've been buried under a rock like myself, you might have missed a few things. I know I did. I thought that Dranoff's SLS Hotel proposal was dead. Apparently I'm not right, just impatient. But I'm also still skeptical. 

It's apparently happening, and its footprint is growing. Like all hotel conglomerates, SBE Entertainment Group understands you can't just cater to one demographic if you want to breed moguls. I mean what is this, the Roaring 20s? SBE wants to put another one of its' brands, the less pricy Hyde, on the same block of Broad at Pine Street.

If you don't know what is at Broad and Pine, don't worry. It's a parking garage that houses a Starbucks, and neither will be missed by this guy (go to Cafe 12, please). A preliminary rendering shows the Hyde as a handsome if dull 22 story hotel - think Boston in the '90s - with some apartments (because everyone's doing that now), and a seemingly stunted SLS International. Let's hope the latter is just a drafting glitch because that corner deserves some height. 

Dranoff, the developer behind both hotels, hopes to start construction on the Hyde in 2017, so, you know, we've got a while. Projects this large take time to get off the ground and go through dozens of redesigns in the process. We'll likely never see the SLS International we've seen in renderings, and the Hyde's introduction may be a litmus for vested parties to gauge the market. Swapping a parking garage at Broad and Pine for a new one at the should-be site of the SLS International wouldn't be unheard-of. 

But Philadelphia's so hot right now (say that in Mugatu's voice) we could see both sooner than we expect. Philadelphia's recent success is locally unprecedented, at least in any of our lifetimes. Just look at what's happening on Market East and the Schuylkill River. SLS and Hyde aren't household names to most Americans, not like Marriott and Hilton. But their interest in Philadelphia says a lot what's happening in Center City. 

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