Philly Theater to Reopen as $95M Mixed-Use

ARCWheeler has unveiled plans to purchase, rehab and add an adjacent hotel to the 80-year-old Boyd Theatre in Downtown Philadelphia, all at an estimated price tag of $95 million. The seller of the property is current owner Live Nation, a major live events company and concert promoter. The project (pictured) will comprise a historic rehabilitation of the landmark theater, construction of a 250-room Kimpton Monaco Hotel on a parking lot adjacent to the theater, and development of two restaurants, one in the hotel and a cafe in the theater, an ARCWheeler spokesperson told CPN. ARCWheeler plans to apply for historic tax credits in connection with the preservation of the interior portions of the theater. In addition, the firm is currently exploring various avenues of public, private and nonprofit financing to make the project come to fruition. “This project fits nicely with the expansion currently under way at Convention Center by providing a marquee entertainment, dining and hospitality venue for conference attendees,” ARCWheeler principal Hal Wheeler said in a prepared statement. “In addition, the project will have the capacity to host smaller, more intimate events like corporate break-out sessions for larger conventions and tradeshows.” The theater is 12 blocks from the Pennsylvania Convention Center. The current expansion at the convention center will result in a total of 1 million square feet of exhibit space, including the largest contiguous exhibit space in the Northeast, as well as the largest convention center ballroom (60,000 square feet) on the East Coast, according to the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau. Built in 1928, the art deco Boyd Theatre was listed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation earlier this year as one of the 11 Most Endangered Sites in America. And in August, the Philadelphia Historical Commission, added the building to the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places, designating the theater as a local historic landmark. Once renovated, the theater will seat 2,500, but will also be able to host smaller gatherings of 250 or fewer. It’s envisioned that in addition to 50 to 60 live music acts each year, the theater will host comedy and lecture events and movie premieres, first-run movies and other films. ARCWheeler plans to enter into a booking agreement with Live Nation to provide live entertainment at the theater, which has been closed since 2002. ARCWheeler was formed in 2003 as a joint venture between ARC Properties Inc. and Wheeler Brothers Holdings L.L.C.