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 14, 2008 |
Developer Carl E. Dranoff speaks in fluent metaphor. There are the "pearls" . . . that would be the Symphony House condominiums his company built at Broad and Pine Streets and the $70 million "green" apartment project Dranoff Properties is building at Broad and Fitzwater Streets. Groundbreaking on 777 South Broad Street, a 146-unit luxury building with retail on the ground floor, is set for Thursday. Dranoff has his eyes on other pearly parcels along the string of South Broad Street known as the Avenue of the Arts.
September 25, 2012 |
Developer Carl Dranoff came late to bicycling. Growing up in Philadelphia's Oxford Circle, no one rode bikes, he says. They walked to school and afterward hit the basketball courts for exercise. Dranoff didn't get on a bicycle until it became a matter of pride: His young daughter was learning to ride a two-wheeler. Why couldn't daddy? He was 35 at the time. Now 63, Dranoff still isn't exactly steady on a bicycle, even when he's pedaling one of the porker-class Dutch models that belong to his company's new bike-sharing program.
July 27, 2013 |
Ever since Philadelphia began taking its waterfronts seriously a decade ago, it has dreamed of shores lined with lithe, elegant, Vancouver-style towers. Master plans were assembled, new recreation paths were laid, parks were created. Yet only a few high-rises have materialized, none of them the least bit thin or urbane. That may be about to change. Developer Carl Dranoff is planning a 21-story apartment building on the Schuylkill that has the potential to raise the bar for all waterfront design in Philadelphia.
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]
March 19, 2011 |
The Borders Group said Friday it would close its 26,000-square-foot store at the corner of Broad and Chestnut Streets - a prime piece of Center City real estate - in May as the Ann Arbor, Mich., bookstore chain struggles with Chapter 11 reorganization. The store is one of 225 nationwide that Borders will close. Outlets in North Wales, King of Prussia, and Langhorne also will be shuttered, the company said. The first wave of closures was announced Feb. 17. Borders spokeswoman Rosalind Thompson said Friday that Borders had been given some time to "work with landlords on obtaining concessions on rent," but the company had been unsuccessful in doing so for the Center City store.
August 24, 2013 |
A great public space like the Schuylkill River Park deserves an exceptional building as a neighbor. So far, developer Carl Dranoff's proposal for One Riverside isn't it. That doesn't mean the 21-story apartment tower designed by Cecil Baker + Partners can't evolve into something worthy of the popular riverfront park that surrounds the site. But it's going to take work - and not just by the development team. The neighborhood has to pitch in, too. The wailing and keening that greeted last week's presentation to the Center City Residents Association wasn't the kind of constructive help that this project needs.
February 15, 2014
Campfire passions Many think of the soldiers at the 1777-78 Valley Forge encampment as being miserable, hungry men wearing ragged clothing and huddled around meager campfires. But many soldiers burned with passion for their country - and for their wives. As 21-year-old Maj. Samuel Ward Jr. of Rhode Island, a newlywed, wrote to his wife Phebe from camp, "The frequent opportunities that offer of conversing with you and the expectation of soon holding you again in my arms makes me very happy.
June 23, 2011 |
Nine months after winning the seventh season of Bravo's Top Chef , Kevin Sbraga has signed a lease for his own restaurant. The upscale casual Sbraga is pegged for this fall at 440 S. Broad St., in the Symphony House space at the corner of Broad and Pine Streets that last housed Chew Man Chu. "I call it a personal rendition of American food," says Sbraga, who lives in the Willingboro house in which he grew up. "I learned during ...