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.
September 15, 2014 |
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.
April 16, 2004 |
Carl E. Dranoff, best known for converting old buildings into modern apartments, is putting the finishing touches on plans for a new 31-story tower on South Broad Street. A formal announcement is expected today. The $92 million project, called Symphony House, will have 160 residential condominiums; a 350-seat venue for the Philadelphia Theatre Company, which plans to present plays, lectures and film festivals; an upscale ground-floor restaurant; and a 395-car garage. Dranoff's partners in the venture are musician and developer Kenny Gamble and Walter Lomax, a physician and health-care entrepreneur.
October 31, 2008 |
The riddle of the moment for Philadelphia's developers, economists, real estate brokers who target high-end property buyers, and just the mildly observant is this: How many millionaires will it take to fill all of the glitzy condominiums being built in Center City? The list of existing, under-construction and planned towers flaunting fancy names and eye-glazing price tags seems endless. There's the Murano, 10 Rittenhouse, Symphony House, Residences at Two Liberty, 1706 Rittenhouse and the Residences at the Ritz Carlton Philadelphia.
June 13, 2013 |
Philadelphia City Council gave preliminary approval Wednesday to a bill that would cap the 10-year tax abatement on new residential construction at $500,000 of value. The cap would go into effect in July 2015. The committee took a rare roll-call vote on the divisive issue, and the bill passed by 9-7, with Marian B. Tasco absent. The bill, sponsored by W. Wilson Goode Jr., could receive final approval on June 20. During testimony on the bill, Goode and Symphony House developer Carl Dranoff had several testy exchanges on the merits of the current tax abatement, which does not have a cap. The abatement has been credited with sparking a building boom - mostly in Center City and surrounding neighborhoods - but has been derided as an unnecessary tax credit to rich homeowners.
July 8, 2011 |
When Philadelphia's big real estate developers find a neighborhood they like, they really dig in. Bart Blatstein has made himself the virtual lord of Northern Liberties with factory-style lofts and hip hangouts. Now Carl Dranoff is firmly on his way to becoming the boss of South Broad Street. Dranoff conquered two key corners there during the boom years, with the pink-hued Symphony House at Pine Street and the deco-inspired 777 at Fitzwater, and has plans for a development at Spruce Street.
February 20, 2008 |
Snow began falling as afternoon slid into evening. With the lights of Center City twinkling around and below her, Jane Miles stood by the vast expanse of windows that line one side of her new 27th-floor condominium in Symphony House, watching. "The snowflakes look so big up here," she said, more than a little awe in her voice. "With all the cars whizzing by in the streets below, it's like being in another world. " A world high above Philadelphia that, even a few years ago, Miles and her husband would have been very exclusive residents of. But as condo towers grow more commonplace in the city, taller, well-heeled buyers are choosing to feather their nests in the clouds - or as close as several hundred feet above street level can get them.
February 8, 2014 |
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?
February 11, 2014
Distaff dissed As much as the Democratic Party allegedly values women's rights, it appears party leaders in South Jersey had only men in mind to replace Congressman Rob Andrews, who is resigning his seat ("Assessing Andrews," Feb. 5). After 26 years of male domination for that seat, why not select a woman? Arnold Einfal, Voorhees, email@example.com Job would wait Retiring Congressman Rob Andrews is the poster child for term limits ("Assessing Andrews," Feb. 5). The least effective legislator in the last 20 years - in terms of proposed bills that became law - Andrews must think his constituents are dolts to believe his claim that the job he is taking at a law firm would not be available to him were he to serve out his full term.
September 5, 2014 |
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.