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.
June 9, 2013 |
I STOPPED by the super swank Symphony House residences yesterday to have a chat with Richard Basciano about his killer building. "Is he expecting you?" the cranky concierge asked. Well, I didn't know if the owner of the crumbling building that flattened a neighboring Salvation Army thrift store was expecting me . But he should've been expecting someone - like officials from the city seeking answers about his choice of a discount demolition crew, for starters. Basciano's company paid some insta-demolition crew $10,000 for a job demo experts said should have cost closer to $250,000.
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.
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.
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.