Morning Headlines: Camden’s Long Delayed Radio Lofts Project Still … Delayed

Radio Lofts at Front and Cooper Street | Google Street View

Radio Lofts at Front and Cooper Street | Google Street View

Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: the condo project has Radio Lofts in Camden is (still) stalled. It’s been around a decade since Carl Dranoff had planned to bring 86 high-end lofts to the Cooper-Grant neighborhood in Camden. The Inquirer reports that there is no start in sight for the project, largely due to lack of funds to properly remove the concrete floors that contain harmful toxins.

The Camden Redevelopment Agency, which owns the property, secured $4.5 million in grants for environmental remediation but still faces a shortfall of about $1.1 million, said agency director Saundra Johnson. The agency is responsible for cleaning up the property before Dranoff can complete the work, and Johnson said the agency was working to secure additional funding.

Yikes. Deemed structurally sound by city officials and not dangerous, the property is a severe eyesore to the area and currently has a fence around it. Up until a few years ago, it was also a drug haven and neighbors were concerned that Dranoff might pull out all together. Dranoff told The Inquirer in an email: “We remain as committed as ever to redevelop Radio Lofts.”

Dranoff has a lot going on at the moment. In the city, he’s in the thick of things as the SLS International Hotel & Residences, One Riverside and the Royal Theater. He’s also about to kick the tires on his other long-planned project called One Ardmore Place at the Cricket Avenue Lot in Ardmore.

A Must-Read from Citified:

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Demo Watch: Here’s a Short Video of an Excavator Eating a Building

Welp, it looks like demolition at the future home of the SLS International Hotel & Residences is officially underway at Broad and Cypress Street (Spruce). That’s not at all surprising, considering developer Carl Dranoff along with the rest of his “Dream Team” – sbe’s Sam Nazarian, hit-makers Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff and star interior designer Philippe Starck – held a flashy press conference recently to officially welcome Starck and celebrate the history of the site. Dranoff called the project a “new gold standard” for the site, Read more »

Philippe Starck to Design Philly Hotel

Phillipe Starck | Photo: James Jennings

Philippe Starck in Philadelphia | Photo: James Jennings

Bonjour mes amis. We have news. Philippe Starck was in town today to talk about his role as exclusive interior designer for Carl Dranoff’s SLS Hotel project at Broad and Spruce. It’s not a total surprise as Starck has been the boutique hotel chain’s key collaborator since its founding. Still, the official announcement has a certain frisson about it.

Property editor Jim Jennings spoke to Starck and was able to get the following through the Gallic fog of his accent:

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Construction Prepping for One Ardmore Place Expected within a Month or So

Rooftop rendering of One Ardmore Place | Image courtesy of Dranoff Properties.

Rooftop rendering of One Ardmore Place | Image courtesy of Dranoff Properties.

One Ardmore Place, which recently had a lawsuit regarding it dismissed, has finally inched closer to reality, as the Main Line Times’ Cheryl Allison reports a construction-prepping date is slated for the next month or so. Let’s hope any opposition against it has waned by the time work starts, as the construction schedule for the mixed-use development calls for 24 months to conclude in spring 2017.

According to Allison, project manager Josh Weingram (also Dranoff’s vice president of development) announced this some days ago during the Ardmore Initiative’s annual leadership breakfast, adding that the first three months of the project would be taken up with utility work and that the Cricket Avenue Lot would still be open for parking, while advancing days will see closures along Cricket Avenue to Cricket Terrace.

Month 4, Allison writes, will see the lot close for excavation work.

Morning Headlines: Dranoff to Give ‘First Look’ at One Riverside, Ardmore Suit Dismissed

Rendering courtesy of Dranoff Properties.

Rendering courtesy of Dranoff Properties.

While we’re all getting iced and rained on this week, it certainly looks like everything is coming up roses for Carl Dranoff.

According to Cheryl Allison of Main Line Times, Montgomery County Common Pleas Court Judge Bernard A. Moore dismissed the lawsuit brought against One Ardmore Associates, a partnership between Dranoff Properties and Lower Merion Township, by nearby business owners that could have blocked the transfer of the Cricket Avenue Parking Lot for the One Ardmore Place project. The mixed-use project seeks to bring 110 apartments, retail and a parking garage to downtown Ardmore. It has been contentious from the beginning, sparking a “Rally for Ardmore” back in November, and this current ruling looks to put it back on track for construction to start in the spring.

While the ruling is a major win for Dranoff, we all know it’s not his only project he has going at the moment.  Read more »

On the Market for Over a Million: Residences at Two Liberty Place

With the Carl Dranoff team looking to work its luxury home selling magic on the Residences at Two Liberty Place–as they had once done for 10 Rittenhouse–we’re guessing it won’t be long before the 73 units at Two Liberty are plucked off the market. Just this past weekend, two of them were listed for over a million bucks.
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Developer to Submit Demolition Application for Royal Theater This Spring


Following a December approval from the zoning board, Dranoff Properties can now take the next step in its plan to redevelop the historic Royal Theater on South Street into a new mixed-use space, which would retain the original structure’s facade.

According to the Philadelphia Business Journal’s Natalie Kostelni, the developer is expected to submit a demolition application to the Philadelphia Historical Commission this spring. The demo, which would be restricted to the rear portion of the property, will make way for new rental units and retail space that the South of South Neighborhood Association and other residents sees as a revitalizing new component to the area…

Will the Carl Dranoff Touch Help Sell These Luxe Condos at Two Liberty Place?

Last we wrote about developer Carl Dranoff, his proposed One Ardmore Place in Lower Merion had taken hit from local business owners who recently filed a lawsuit against the township for wrongfully permitting Dranoff to do what he will with Haws Terrace, a road directly behind his planned project.

Now, Dranoff is making headlines in Philly (but for less headache-inducing reasons).

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More Drama for One Ardmore Place: Nearby Business Owners File Suit Against Lower Merion Township


Six business owners neighboring Carl Dranoff’s One Ardmore Place project at the site of the Cricket Parking Lot have filed a lawsuit against Lower Merion Township. The suit claims that Haws Terrace, an access road behind the parking lot, was deeded as public land and isn’t allowed to be sold to a private developer to create a 8-story, mixed-use complex.

A newsletter sent out by JustLaws, one of the law firms representing the business owners, sheds some light on the suit:
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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 »

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