by Michael J. Shapiro | October 28, 2015
Why here?
Adaptive reuse of historic and landmark buildings is prevalent across the state. The Neu Kirche Contemporary Art Center, on Pittsburgh's North Side, is the latest repurposing of a former church for community use. Two venues inside, including the chapel, are available for events.

 The 457-room Kalahari Resorts and Conventions, Pocono Mountains, opened this summer in Pocono Manor. The family-friendly, African-themed resort offers a 100,000-square-foot convention center and the state's largest water park.

 Mohegan Sun Pocono, a 238-room gaming resort with a 20,000-square-foot convention center, is now a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts.

Among the boutique properties in Pittsburgh's surging hotel scene is the new Hotel Monaco, a 248-room Kimpton property in the converted James Reed Building, which offers 11,300 square feet of event space.

The Reading Terminal Market is part of Philadelphia's convention center complex, an easy stroll for a sampling of local cuisine. More than 80 merchants sell specialties such as fresh produce, meats and more.
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Local Update
 A 199-room hotel will be built in what is currently the Family Division of the Court of Common Pleas. Developers expect Kimpton to be the management company, but the deal had not been finalized as of press time. The $85 million project will incorporate the landmark building's interior murals and many other historical elements. The hotel, on Vine Street along the Ben Franklin Parkway, is slated to open in 2017.

 A 140-room AC Hotel by Marriott is being developed north of the Pennsylvania Convention Center. The 12-story property, scheduled to open in 2018, will be built atop the landmark art deco Warner Bros. distribution building. Developers are planning a restaurant, underground parking and LEED Gold status for the building.

 Starwood Hotels & Resorts began construction this past summer on a dual-branded W and Element project in a 51-story skyscraper directly across from City Hall, within walking distance of the convention center. The 295-room W Philadelphia and 460-room Element Philadelphia are on target to open in early 2018.

 A multimillion-dollar, propertywide renovation is under way at the 299-room Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia. The update, which is expected to wrap up next spring, will affect all guest rooms, meeting spaces, the lobby and all public spaces. The property will remain open throughout the work, and a new restaurant, bar and lounge will debut as a result of the overhaul.

 The former Four Seasons is being transformed into The Logan, Philadelphia's Hotel, a stylish 390-room property slated to open in December. The hotel will become part of Hilton's Curio Collection shortly thereafter; Hilton is accepting reservations for arrivals beginning on Jan. 15, 2016. Features include a spa, a modern steak house, a rooftop lounge, a lobby lounge, an indoor pool, a fitness center, a picturesque courtyard for events and a ballroom that seats up to 550.

 The Philadelphia Planning Commission recently approved the master project plan for the Stadium Casino facility slated for South Philadelphia. The 2 million-square-foot resort will include a casino, an upscale boutique hotel, a spa, several restaurants, a parking garage and live entertainment venues, all pending approval from the Gaming Control Board.