Live Nation is close to an agreement to operate the city’s historic Metropolitan Opera House as a concert venue after an an ambitious renovation project is completed.
Live Nation, based in Beverly Hills, California, didn’t respond to an email requesting comment on the deal. However, the developer of the renovation project indicated to the architectural committee of the Philadelphia Historical Commission on Tuesday that the entertainment giant is interested in the opera house.
“Right now, our focus is on making Live Nation happy,” the developer, Eric Blumenfeld, told the committee, according to the real estate blog Curbed Philly.
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Live Nation already operates the Theater of the living Arts on South Street, Fillmore Philadelphia in Fishtown and the Tower Theater in Upper Darby.
Blumenfeld’s EB Realty plans $35 million in renovations to the opera house, which was built in 1908 by Oscar Hammerstein, grandfather of the renown lyricist in the team of Rodgers and Hammerstein.
The building, which has a 4,000-person seating capacity, has been used as a movie theater, ballroom and circus venue over the years.
Blumenfeld and the Holy Ghost Headquarters Church bought the building in 2013 for one dollar. The church no longer uses the property, but still shares ownership.
The architectural committee approved plans for four illuminated signs that will be installed on the North Broad Street façade of the building. The signs will identify the building as the “Met.”
The committee also urged the developer to attempt restoration of the structure’s parapet and to design a 10-foot-high HVAC unit on the roof to be as inconspicuous as possible, Curbed Philly reported.
The opera house is but one of Blumenfeld’s projects on North Broad Street.
He is converting the 124-year-old Divine Lorraine Hotel building into 101 apartments and a boutique hotel. He is also a commercial building that he calls the Studebaker building on 667 North Broad Street. He renovated the former Thaddeus Stevens School of Observation at 523 North Broad into a 56-unit apartment building.