One Riverside Gets Roadshow Trolley Tour

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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.

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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

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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

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Rendering of the project via Philly.com

“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?

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A Translation of Carl Dranoff’s Main Line Times Editorial

Photo credit: Laura Kicey

Carl Dranoff, above, is a diplomatic guy. Photo credit: Laura Kicey

In response to claims that the project has been opposed by many in the community, Carl Dranoff wrote an editorial for the Main Line Times today, in which he attempted to clarify some aspects of the plan that seem to have been lost in the bickering. Of course, he puts everything quite delicately, but as someone who was once in a PhD program for Translation Studies, I feel qualified to at least attempt a rendering into regular-person talk, i.e., the kind of thing I imagine he says at home, head in hands, when the frustration gets to be too much.

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Morning Headlines: Dranoff’s One Ardmore Place Gets Township Committee Approval

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Carl Dranoff’s various Ardmore plans, first proposed more than a decade ago, have caused controversy for almost as long. So it wasn’t surprising that discussion of the residential/retail proposal for Ardmore at last night’s Lower Merion Township Building and Planning Committee meeting was “raucous,” as the Inquirer‘s Carolyn Davis put it. Things devolved into personal sniping, with words like “boorish” and “venomous” being thrown around. (Davis writes that things started getting ugly last week with a string of emails — which, alas, no one leaked to us.) The meeting didn’t end until after 1 a.m.

What’s known among Main Line residents as the “Cricket Lot” project — real name: One Ardmore Place — involves an apartment building with 121 units and roughly 8,000 square feet of street-level retail space fronting Cricket Avenue. Carolyn Davis boils down years of debate:

Critics say the project is too big for its site and neighborhood. Proponents claim it would boost downtown Ardmore by drawing young residents to live in a transit-friendly building near the train station.

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Morning Headlines: Carl Dranoff Gets Zoning Approval for Proposed Hotel on Broad

SLS international rendering

Part of a Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates rendering of Dranoff’s new project. Full rendering below.

A zoning bill that would make things easier for Carl Dranoff to build his proposed SLS International Hotel was approved by City Council’s Committee on Rules yesterday. These revisions permit Dranoff to build on more land without having to seek additional zoning approvals.

Sponsored by Councilman Mark Squilla, the bill amends certain chapters in codes “Overlaying Zone, “Development Standards,” and “Parking and Loading.” In response to the suggested revisions, the Washington Square West Civic Association sent Squilla a letter. According to PlanPhilly’s Jared Brey, the group’s board agreed to not fight the bill, “provided certain agreements are made with respect to noise and activity at the hotel and other matters of operation.”

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Saffron Shocker: A Carl Dranoff Building She Loves

SLS international rendering

Part of a Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates rendering of Dranoff’s new project. Full rendering below.

We’re not sure whether this was one of Carl Dranoff’s goals for his new South Broad Street exclamation point, the SLS International Hotel and Residences, but we’re sure he couldn’t be more pleased if he had planned this from the outset: for the first time since he turned his attention to the Avenue of the Arts, Philadelphia Inquirer architecture critic Inga Saffron has tossed a bouquet to a Dranoff building’s architecture.

Saffron has always given Dranoff props for his business savvy and his commitment to creating lively urban environments, and her review of the SLS tower in today’s Inquirer is no exception. As she wrote, Dranoff “seems to possess a sixth sense about where the real estate market will go next.” His Avenue of the Arts debut, Symphony House, was an example of that sixth sense at work, and as Saffron notes again in her review today, the project got the urbanism right, packing enticing commercial spaces at the street level and finding top-flight tenants to fill them.

But her disdain for the “pink-hued, milk-bottle-shaped” apartment tower – a building that wants badly to be its Modernist self but instead comes off as a Drake Tower wannabe – became well-known.

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