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.
April 14, 2011 |
The developer of the Victor Lofts apartment building on the Camden waterfront has put off repayment of a $3 million loan to the Delaware River Port Authority because he's short on cash. The agency lent $3 million to Victor Associates in 2003, interest-free until 2009. The money was part of a $52 million financing package assembled by developer Carl E. Dranoff to convert the historic RCA Victor "Nipper Building" into 341 upscale apartments overlooking the Delaware River and the Philadelphia skyline.
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 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.
March 21, 2013 |
Osage Partners of Philadelphia, Greycroft Partners of Los Angeles, and MissionOG of Devon, say they have invested $3.2 million in Center City-based PeopleLinx , a firm that helps companies give their workers' LinkedIn accounts a standard corporate look and uses LinkedIn data to boost sales. PeopleLinx, which counts FMC Corp. , Firstrust Bank and Prudential among its clients, was set up by LinkedIn veterans Nathan Egan and Patrick Baynes . It will use the new cash to add to its staff of 13 full-time employees and about 25 contractors, says Egan, a Cornell grad and onetime specialty chemical salesman.
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 ...
February 27, 2011 |
Blue skies and a high of 62 degrees on Feb. 14 were hardly what one would have expected this winter, but they were definitely a treat for Marianne Harris. As director of sales, leasing, and marketing for Dranoff Properties, Harris and her boss, Carl Dranoff, had chosen that day for "the first annual Valentine's Day Progressive Luncheon," to show the developer's buildings in Center City and University City. "I can't believe how lucky we were," she said at the front door of 777 South Broad, Dranoff's newest luxury rental building, which opened March 25. Inside, real estate agents and brokers, many from Main Line offices, dined on bow-tie and tortellini pasta prepared to order, then toured the models, common areas, and fitness and storage facilities.
March 29, 2013
Here are some of architecture critic Inga Saffron's blog posts from the last week. You can see others at www.philly.com/philly/blogs/changing-skyline . Workplace squatters at Glaxo I went down to the Philadelphia Navy Yard yesterday [March 21] to take a look at the architecture of the new GlaxoSmithKline building, but what really caught my eye were the desks, er, workspaces. Glaxo's new offices are organized around the concept of hoteling, where employees aren't assigned their own desk or cubicle.