Council Committee Approves Zoning Changes For Royal Theater Redevelopment


Hopefully, that annoying Lorde song isn’t playing in your head now like it is in mine, but big news regarding the Royal Theater’s redevelopment was reported by CBS Philly a little bit ago: A City Council committee has approved requested zoning changes that would allow developer Carl Dranoff to demolish the building (but keep its exterior) and replace it with a mixed-use building.

Peter Kelsen, Dranoff’s attorney, was at the hearing and had this to say:

“The Royal Theater development promises to be a game-changing development on South Street,” Kelsen said.  “We will create an adaptive reuse of this historic property, which will reinvigorate this important block of South Street.”

Meanwhile, some locals expressed disappointment because of the potential height and parking issues the Royal’s proposed replacement would create:  Read more »

Morning Headlines: Dranoff Project Protest Draws 90

Logo for One Ardmore Place, Carl Dranoff's new mixed-use development. Courtesy Dranoff Properties.

Logo for One Ardmore Place, Carl Dranoff’s new mixed-use development. Courtesy Dranoff Properties.

The “Rally for Ardmore” in front of the Lower Merion Township Building brought out about 90 residents and business owners, according to the Main Line Times, who are against developer Carl Dranoff’s plan for the Cricket Avenue parking lot — a plan he’s practically had to sell his soul to see realized. The group chanted, “What do we want? No eight stories. Slow this thing down now.” All right, so it’s not exactly “we shall overcome,” but the point was made.

From the MLT:
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Dranoff’s SouthStar Lofts to Get a Fitness Studio Next Month

pilates studio

Since its grand opening earlier this year, SouthStar Lofts has quickly brought in residents and visitors big time. Now, the Carl Dranoff property is getting another amenity: a Sculpt Fitness Studio.

According to Be Well Philly, the space, which is set to open in early December, is currently under construction. Fitness instructor Stephanie Tolar (whose idea it was to bring the first ever Megaformer Pilates studio to Philadelphia) says the new space will be on SouthStar’s first floor and will have a “loft, industrial feel” to it.” A shower and two changing areas will also be on the premises.

Morning Headlines: Residents to Protest Dranoff Development

Logo for One Ardmore Place, Carl Dranoff's new mixed-use development. Courtesy Dranoff Properties.

Carl Dranoff’s mixed-use tower on Cricket Avenue in Ardmore has been in the works for a very long time, but it still doesn’t sit well with some community members, who will hold a protest in front of the Lower Merion Township building on Saturday. From

Critics say the project, One Ardmore Place, would not jibe with the mom-and-pop character of downtown Ardmore, bringing more density and traffic, and more burden to the schools….

Dranoff Properties says the building will bring $100 million in economic stimulus and create a more vibrant downtown.

Montco protest planned for Ardmore project  

More headlines, this way…

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One Riverside Gets Roadshow Trolley Tour

slp -072

Our coverage of Carl Dranoff’s One Riverside reveals all the amenities the 25th and Locust condo tower is slated to have, but if you’re curious about other features and services, “Dranoff’s One Riverside Road Show” might answer further questions.

The road show will be traveling sales office inside a custom-wrapped trolley powered by the Philadelphia Trolley Works, and will be making its way through the city and suburbs for the duration of September (everywhere “from Abington to Ardmore”). Inside will be sales materials, renderings, and more images of building views.

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Morning Headlines: Changes For Carl Dranoff’s Proposed One Riverside Project

Rendering of One Riverside. Photo credit: Dranoff Properties.

Rendering of One Riverside. Photo credit: Dranoff Properties.

Months after getting an urban-friendly redesign, Carl Dranoff’s One Riverside project is getting another change: 88 condos, prices varying in the range of $700,000 to $4 million. Dranoff made the announcement yesterday during a dinner for real estate agents, according to the Inquirer’s Alan J. Heavens.

Originally, the proposed 22-story tower, which will cost over $100 million, was slated to have 147 luxury rentals. This plan was scrapped when the developer realized demand for condo ownership outweighed a desire for rentals, something he discovered when 10 Rittenhouse proved disappointing for tenants looking for “new and larger condominiums.”

Another developer trying to meet the condo demand is Tom Scannapieco. His 500 Walnut project, which is aiming for a spring groundbreaking, will include 40 condo units in a 26-story tower overlooking Independence Hall (the site is on 5th and Walnut). Heavens writes that pre-sales on that project’s units “are in the multimillions of dollars.”

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Morning Headlines: Experts Consider Atlantic City’s Fate

Photo courtesy  Wikimedia Commons.

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

The Inquirer has a lengthy report this morning speculating on Atlantic City’s fate come September, when as many as four Boardwalk properties may be vacant. Suzette Parmley talks to a variety of authorities and rubberneckers, and even nabs a quote from Carl Dranoff while he’s at dinner.

With the Atlantic Club having closed in January, Trump Plaza closing in September and Revel and Showboat in dire straits, Mayor Don Guardian tells Parmley that the city is considering using the old casinos for other purposes. Changes will need the go-ahead from the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority.

What would the other purposes be? Parmley found a few people with suggestions. One possible tenant would be Richard Stockton College, which has expressed interest in opening a campus in Atlantic City:

The changing landscape in A.C. makes it more important than ever to diversify the economic base in Atlantic City, as well as provide four-year degree and higher educational opportunities for the many employees being displaced,” Stockton president Herman Saatkamp said in a statement Wednesday. “A college campus complete with housing and surrounding businesses would be a significant asset to these needs.

Read more »

Morning Headlines: Carl Dranoff Starts New Company

Photo by Laura Kicey

Photo by Laura Kicey

Developer Carl Dranoff, of Avenue of the Arts fame, is starting a new boutique real estate brokerage with the help of partner Marianne Harris, the Inquirer’s Alan J. Heavens reports. The brokerage won’t be limited to Dranoff’s own properties—it’ll cover much of Center City and adjacent neighborhoods, and fill a need Dranoff’s company has seen among its customers:

For Harris, the tipping point was 10 Rittenhouse, the troubled luxury high-rise Dranoff stepped in to finish and sell for iStar Financial, the senior lender, in late 2011.

“We are pretty much sold out there, and buyers unable to find a condo there keep asking, ‘Can you show me something else in Center City?’ ” she said. “Having our own brokerage will allow us to show them others.”

The new company, called Dranoff Properties Realty Inc., introduced itself with a full-page advertisement in today’s Inquirer. It’s just one of many new projects for Dranoff: he just finished Southstar Lofts at Broad and South, and within the next year hopes to start construction on two towers in Philly and one in Newark, NJ.

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Southstar Lofts: Gaze Upon Carl Dranoff’s Latest Opening

Carl Dranoff hosted the grand opening for Southstar Lofts on Wednesday, but by then his newest apartment building was already 40 percent spoken-for. “It’s the fastest we’ve ever leased,” he said during a tour of the four-story mid-rise just before the party. And they’ve leased a lot – particularly on the Avenue of the Arts (see: 777 South Broad, Symphony House and the incoming SLS tower), which Dranoff champions as a combination of Michigan Avenue, Park Avenue and Broadway.

Southstar, which broke ground last March, features 85 thoughtfully appointed units and was designed to be a sister property to 777 South Broad. Dranoff says they brought some of 777’s most popular features to Southstar and built upon them. Details like 26-inch-wide sinks in each unit, enormous trash rooms built so that the entire room can be wiped down, and free, full-sized washers and dryers available in addition to your in-unit laundry were imported a few blocks north.

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Morning Headlines: Carl Dranoff’s One Riverside Gets Urban-Friendly Redesign

carl dranoff one riverside

Rendering of the project via

“A true urban tower,” that’s what Pulitzer-winning architecture critic Inga Saffron has called Carl Dranoff’s redesigned One Riverside project at 25th and Locust. The building, proposed last summer, had originally sparked complaints from locals and Saffron herself.

So what exactly are the differences between the old and new design?

Read more »

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