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Symphony House

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BUSINESS
June 19, 2007 | By Suzette Parmley, Inquirer Staff Writer
When the Kimmel Center was built at Broad and Spruce Streets in 2001, the city decided to sell off the parcel it controlled at Broad and Pine Streets. The Philadelphia Industrial Development Corp., which owned the land on behalf of the city, put it up for bid and selected developer Carl Dranoff, who wanted to re-create the romance and glamor of the 1920s, when South Broad Street was at its height as the financial and cultural epicenter of the city. Tonight, Dranoff will unveil the project that has been five years in the making: Symphony House on the Avenue of the Arts.
NEWS
October 26, 2007 | By Inga Saffron, Inquirer Architecture Critic
Except to those who resolutely averted their eyes during construction, it won't come as news that Symphony House is the ugliest new condo building in Philadelphia. The 32-story mixed-use tower flounces onto venerable South Broad Street like a sequined and over-rouged strumpet. Sheathed in a sickly shade of pink concrete, the building resembles, as one blogger wittily observed, a giant Pepto-Bismol bottle. If only it were possible to look away! When architecture is this bad, it's all too easy to pile on, or move on. But the lessons Philadelphia takes away from Symphony House will determine what shape this aspiring "Next Great City" assumes in the 21st century.
NEWS
January 7, 2011 | By Annette John-Hall, Inquirer Columnist
There's been a situation brewing on Broad Street - excuse me, make that the Avenue of the Arts. Amid the beautiful Kimmel Center and the welcoming Suzanne Roberts Theater, ugly has surfaced. No, I'm not talking about that towering monstrosity, Symphony House, which my colleague, architecture critic Inga Saffron, called "the ugliest new condo building in Philadelphia" when it opened three years ago. I'm talking about a different kind of ugly. Because for more than two years, the 32-story Symphony House, the new kid on the block, has been embroiled in a pitched battle with the venerable Jamaican Jerk Hut, the popular eatery two blocks away that has been a South Street mainstay for more than 20 years.
BUSINESS
June 19, 2007 | By Suzette Parmley INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
When the Kimmel Center was built at Broad and Spruce Streets in 2001, the city decided to sell off the parcel it controlled at Broad and Pine Streets. The Philadelphia Industrial Development Corp., which owned the land on behalf of the city, put it up for bid and selected developer Carl Dranoff, who wanted to re-create the romance and glamor of the 1920s, when South Broad Street was at its height as the financial and cultural epicenter of the city. Tonight, Dranoff will unveil the project that has been five years in the making: Symphony House on the Avenue of the Arts.
REAL_ESTATE
February 6, 2005 | By Alan J. Heavens INQUIRER REAL ESTATE WRITER
Who says there's a pent-up demand for luxury condos in Center City? Carl E. Dranoff. A week before the sales office opened for his 31-story Symphony House at Broad and Pine Streets, Dranoff says, he had already sold 45 of the building's 163 condominiums - though they won't be ready for at least 22 months. These decisions to spend between $458,000 and more than $1.4 million were based on pictures and drawings and a five-minute video shown at the Dranoff Properties office in University City that focuses as much on the neighborhood - the Kimmel Center is 100 steps from the high-rise's front entrance - as it does on Symphony House's art-deco style.
NEWS
October 31, 2007
I awoke this morning to discover that my company had joined the ranks of some of the greatest architects and developers in America who have been criticized by Inquirer architecture critic Inga Saffron ("Nightmare on Broad Street," Oct. 26). Many great buildings, including our own City Hall and Art Museum, faced severe criticism when first unveiled, but Saffron's review of Symphony House went beyond criticism. It was a one-sided, mean-spirited, malicious rant. Am I to imagine that all of the many sophisticated buyers at Symphony House have bad taste?
NEWS
December 19, 2013
A map published Tuesday with a story on plans by the developer Carl Dranoff to build a hotel and condominium tower incorrectly located Dranoff's Symphony House development, and also did not specifically locate the site of the planned tower. A corrected map appears above. An incorrect photograph was published Tuesday with a story on a federal-court ruling on collection of phone records by the National Security Agency. A correct photo of Charles Strange, who brought the suit, appears above.
NEWS
August 2, 2011 | By Annette John-Hall, Inquirer Columnist
It was the quintessential Philadelphia neighborhood story. Even more delicious than the flavorful meatballs handmade by Gabe Marabella or the chicken and mango salsa served up by Lisa Wilson was the friendship that developed between the two small-business owners, who on paper were supposed to be adversaries. The story began during a Welcome America event at Penn's Landing last month. Marabella, the legendary meatball maker, found himself operating a vending stand right next to Wilson, owner of the Jamaican Jerk Hut. You know the Marabella name.
NEWS
January 12, 2011
I am definitely a classical music lover. I subscribe to the Philadelphia Orchestra, the family concerts, and the chamber music series. However, I feel that the objections to the outdoor music at the Jamaican Jerk Hut by residents of Symphony House and other nearby buildings are very much out of line ("Disharmony on Avenue of the Arts," Friday). This business was operating for many years before the Symphony House was built. The complaints remind me of the people who purchase a new home near railroad tracks, or a busy shopping area, and then complain about the noise or the traffic.
NEWS
December 18, 2013 | By Alan J. Heavens, Inquirer Real Estate Writer
The developer Carl E. Dranoff is partnering with Los Angeles-based SBE Entertainment Group to build a 47-story, mixed-use luxury boutique hotel and condominium tower at Broad and Spruce Streets, across from the Kimmel Center, for more than $200 million. The 422,838-square-foot SLS International, which Dranoff said would be Pennsylvania's "tallest structure built for residential use," is being designed by New York-based architecture firm Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, whose chairman, A. Eugene Kohn, is a Philadelphia native.
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NEWS
May 12, 2016
ISSUE | PROPERTY TAX Phila. inequity The story about the reassessment of homes and properties in Philadelphia was enlightening, especially for residents in the surrounding counties ("For many, reassessment proved underassessment," Saturday). For a resident of the Symphony House in Center City to be unhappy about an increase in taxes to $600 is remarkable. His condo is worth $495,000, and he has been paying $98 a year in city and school real-estate taxes? I live in a Cheltenham Township home that probably would not sell for anything close to that amount, and I pay nearly $10,000 a year in taxes.
NEWS
September 15, 2014 | BY VALERIE RUSS, Daily News Staff Writer russv@phillynews.com, 215-854-5987
THE COLORFUL images of Fats Waller and Bessie Smith painted on the facade of the Royal Theater reflect a past as a film and musical venue designed especially for Philadelphia's African-American community. The Royal, on South Street near 15th, was built in 1920 and is on the city's historic register. But the building has been vacant for more than 40 years, and nearby residents and business owners have become frustrated as it deteriorated into blight. Rather than becoming an anchor to spark development, they said, the Royal had become an anchor that weighed progress down.
NEWS
September 5, 2014 | By Alan J. Heavens, Inquirer Real Estate Writer
Armed with evidence of increasing demand for new and larger high-rise condominiums in Center City, Carl Dranoff has shifted gears on plans for his One Riverside development at 25th and Locust Streets. Instead of 147 luxury rental apartments, the 22-story, $100 million-plus building will have 88 condos, including two penthouses, that he said will be priced at $700,000 to $4 million. Groundbreaking for One Riverside is scheduled early next year, "depending on permit issuance, which is hard to predict," said Marianne Harris, Dranoff Properties' sales and marketing director.
NEWS
February 18, 2014
A big, flashing 'no' Although I don't live near or represent in the state Senate the area where the Franklin Institute wants to erect a digital sign, as a long-time visitor I have enjoyed the vistas of extraordinary architectural designs along the city's most famous throughway. Be it the museums, hotels, fountains, Free Library, or Family Court, this area provides a breathtaking gateway to the city. And it should be preserved. Certainly, there is nothing a digital sign would add to this historic and spectacular perspective.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 8, 2014 | By Inga Saffron, Inquirer Architecture Critic
Since making his inauspicious debut on South Broad Street in 2007 with the pink-hued, milk-bottle-shaped Symphony House, developer Carl Dranoff has gone on to do something that once seemed improbable: He has resurrected a big stretch of the battered commercial street as a residential boulevard. A canny developer, Dranoff seems to possess a sixth sense about where the real estate market will go next. He gets his urbanism mostly right, by packing the ground floors with generous commercial spaces and finding tenants to turn the lights on. But architecturally, his growing collection of condos and apartment houses has been a mixed bag. His follow-up to Symphony House, a mid-rise called 777, drips with Art Deco-inspired bling, while his latest, Southstar Lofts, is shaping up to be a rather staid white box. It's as if his South Broad is still trying to figure out what it wants to be when it grows up. Grand boulevard?
NEWS
December 19, 2013
A map published Tuesday with a story on plans by the developer Carl Dranoff to build a hotel and condominium tower incorrectly located Dranoff's Symphony House development, and also did not specifically locate the site of the planned tower. A corrected map appears above. An incorrect photograph was published Tuesday with a story on a federal-court ruling on collection of phone records by the National Security Agency. A correct photo of Charles Strange, who brought the suit, appears above.
NEWS
December 19, 2013 | By Claudia Vargas, Inquirer Staff Writer
PHILADELPHIA The sketches were drawn, and the vision of a 47-story, $210 million hotel and condominium in Center City was in place. The developer, Carl Dranoff, said financing would be 95 percent private - the only exception being a block of money from the state. He was also counting on the city's 10-year abatement of property taxes. Then the author of a proposal to slash that abatement warned that he shouldn't count on it. "If they included abatements within their [financial]
NEWS
December 18, 2013 | By Alan J. Heavens, Inquirer Real Estate Writer
The developer Carl E. Dranoff is partnering with Los Angeles-based SBE Entertainment Group to build a 47-story, mixed-use luxury boutique hotel and condominium tower at Broad and Spruce Streets, across from the Kimmel Center, for more than $200 million. The 422,838-square-foot SLS International, which Dranoff said would be Pennsylvania's "tallest structure built for residential use," is being designed by New York-based architecture firm Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, whose chairman, A. Eugene Kohn, is a Philadelphia native.
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