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With $56M loan, Philadelphia Metropolitan Opera House eyes December 2018 return

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The historic theater will reopen as Live Nation venue on December 13

The Philadelphia Metropolitan Opera House is eyeing a December 13, 2018 opening date.
Rendering by AOS Architects

The Philadelphia Metropolitan Opera House on North Broad was just handed a $56 million loan, pushing the restoration project forward to its December 2018 opening date as a Live Nation venue.

Developer Eric Blumenfeld announced Thursday that the project received a $56 million loan from Billy Procida, Fulton Bank, PIDC, and New Orleans-based Enhanced Capital. Blumenfeld said in a statement, “Without [their] support, this building would have been lost forever. My prediction is that the North Broad Street Corridor will just get better on December 13 of this year when we open and continue to attract the best and the brightest from all sectors of the economy.”

The $56 million loan, arranged by D2 Capital Advisors, is in addition to a $5 million RACP state grant that the Met applied for last year. It has not yet received that funding.

The restoration of the Philadelphia Metropolitan Opera House at 858 N. Broad Street has been underway for the past year, after sitting unused for years on North Broad and in a state of neglect. The 39,200-square-foot theater dates back to 1908 and was designed by architect William H. McElfatrick for Oscar Hammerstein I, the grandfather of Oscar Hammerstein II. When it opened, it sat some 4,000 people and was the largest theater of its kind in the world.

Blumenfeld zeroed in on the theater amid his other redevelopment projects up and down North Broad, including the nearby Divine Lorraine, which has been since been restored into an apartment building. The developer, who signed Live Nation on as the main tenant last year, says the return of the Philadelphia Metropolitan Opera House should be another boon to the ongoing revitalization of the North Broad corridor.

Live Nation’s Philadelphia regional president Geoff Gordon said, “I think a lot of people have a misconception when they hear ‘The Met’—that it’s in New York. Well, Philly has one too, and ours has been a part of the Philadelphia culture for many years.”

The Holy Ghost church congregation also holds stake in the theater and will continue to hold Sunday services at the theater when it reopens in December.

Editor’s note: A previous version of this article stated that the Met had received a $5M RACP grant. It has applied for the grant. We regret the error.

North Broad Street

North Broad Street, , PA

Philadelphia Metropolitan Opera House

858 N. Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19130