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AC Hotel by Marriot Planned for Historic Warner Bros. Building

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The plans to develop the former Warner Bros. distribution building/NFL Films location at 13th and Florist St. in Chinatown unanimously flew through zoning a few weeks ago, reports Philly Living. Developer Baywood Hotels plans to add a 12-story hotel to the top of the understated Art Deco building. But we knew that already. What we didn't know precisely what brand of hotel we'd be getting — until now. Baywood plans to install an AC Hotel by Marriot, a popular mid-priced European hotel brand that finally made its way across the pond in 2013.

The hotel plans passed through the Historical Commission in August, who recommended a few tweaks. Mainly, the hotel had to be set back 18-feet off of 13th St. above the existing two-story structure. Baywood also has plans for a guest dining space and an underground parking area that utilizes a car elevator on Clarion St.

Philly Living explains that the project is seeking LEED Gold Certification. Here's how it will achieve taht status:

"The developers hope to achieve LEED Gold certification and will include high-efficiency appliances and fixtures, locally sourced materials, and a green roof. When a ZBA member asked how they would achieve LEED Gold certification, the architect mentioned that developers must make an agreement with the Department of Licenses and Inspections and also must submit plans regularly to L&I or face penalties."

The project is designed by spg3, a Philly-based architecture firm. If you remember, not everyone is a total fan of this project. Let's take it back to August to see what Inga Saffron had to say about slapping a hotel above the building designed by William Harold Lee:"It's a pretty weak concept given that this is 2014, not 1932, when the groundbreaking PSFS burst on the scene. With Foster's Hearst building, which also sits atop an art deco base, the tower at least has the advantage of being a dynamic, faceted, modern form. If Baywood and spg3 were half as ambitious, it would be a huge improvement. Unlike PSFS's meticulously crafted brick, spg3's overbuild will most likely be constructed in budget-minded composite panels. Although the design could still be improved, so far it's not worthy of Lee's snappy art deco exchange or the eclectic neighborhood."

As for AC Hotels by Marriot, they're apparently marketed to "younger, tech- and design-savvy travelers" in an effort to reach that darn Millenial crowd, according to a report in USA Today.
· 13th Street hotel tower gets go-ahead from ZBA [Philly Living]