Developers change hotel brand at Little Pete's near Rittenhouse Square

The group behind a hotel proposal at the Little Pete's restaurant site has ceased efforts to brand the project as a Philadelphia sibling to New York's trendy Hudson Hotel and will develop the property as an upscale Hyatt instead.

Carol Horne Penn, project director for Chancellor Hotel Associates, said in written testimony to City Council members Wednesday that the project near Rittenhouse Square would be built under the banner of Hyatt's boutique Centric brand.

"When the opportunity surfaced to bring a Hyatt Centric property to Philadelphia, we knew it would be a great fit," Penn said in an email. "This is an exciting new brand, and we believe visitors and residents will love the Hyatt Centric experience."

The project would be Center City's second existing Hyatt-branded property, after the Bellevue. A former Hyatt hotel at Penn's Landing is now a Hilton.

Hyatt rolled out its Centric brand in January, promising centrally located properties with what it described as "eclectic and fun" designs. The chain currently has Centric hotels in the Loop district of Chicago and Miami's South Beach, according to its website. The company said in January that it planned 15 Centric locations in cities including New York and Paris.

Chancellor's Penn planned to discuss the shift to the Centric brand during a meeting of the council's rules committee, which was considering a zoning change for the development site to permit a higher building there than currently allowed.

The development group had said as recently as June that it was in negotiations with Hudson's corporate parent Morgans Hotel Group to use the moniker for the 310-room hotel it planned for the site at 17th and Chancellor Streets.

Morgans has been cited in published reports as a possible merger target for California-based SBE Entertainment Group, which is also planning a Center City hotel, under its SLS brand.

jadelman@phillynews.com

215-854-2615 @jacobadelman