PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A new look, for an old landmark. The Met Philadelphia is back in business after a $56 million restoration project. Living up to expectations when the operators said they would pull out all the stops to turn this once vacant space into a modern venue.
It sits on a full city block off of North Broad and Poplar Streets.
“We’re standing in the lower level of the Metropolitan Opera House,” Eric Blumenfeld says.
Eric Blumenfeld of EB Realty Management Company talked to Eyewitness News a couple months ago during renovations. He says he, along with Live Nation, put up $56 million dollars to restore the 100-year-old building.
“About a dozen years ago I showed up on North Broad Street and it was kind of a godforsaken stretch of Philadelphia and I just saw great potential,” Blumenfeld explains.
“The Met, you know, people pass by the building every day but it sorta disappeared. And so even people in the know don’t know about this building they haven’t been inside it so the fact that we’re going to bring it back and people are gonna walk in an say holy smoke! Where did this come from?!” he adds.
Now the Met is being touted as the crown jewel of North Broad Street.
“My secret weapon of North Broad Street,” Blumenfeld proudly adds.
Charles Gallagher is a professor of sociology at La Salle University and believes the development of The Met could boost residential construction in the area. But he’s worried it could make North Broad more transient.
“It remains to be seen whether it’s going to become a community with families where people put their roots down or it’s going to be a series of people cycling through that are renters,” said Gallagher.
By the numbers, the Met Philadelphia will have two-level balconies, 25 bars throughout the building, and 3,400 seats.
The goal is house at least 125 shows a year.
Bob Dylan performed Monday night with other future events planned with Mariah Carey, John Oliver, John Legend, Meek Mill, and many more big names.