August 2, 2011 |
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.
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.
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.
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 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?
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.
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.
December 19, 2013 |
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]