Lunchtime Quick Hits

The interior designers and decorators who use the Marketplace Design Center may soon find business coming their way from directly atop it; Carl Dranoff’s controversial mixed-use project for downtown Ardmore clears its last review hurdle, and Property offers a plain-English translation of Dranoff’s defense of the project in the Main Line Times; and Naked Philly takes a stroll up a Point Breeze street where all one encounters these days is scaffolding:

Marketplace Design Center sells for $42m (Philadelphia Business Journal)
Ardmore development moves closer to approval (The Philadelphia Inquirer|Philly.com)
A Translation of Carl Dranoff’s Main Line Times Editorial (Property blog|Philadelphia magazine)
18th Street in Point Breeze is a Construction Zone (Naked Philly)

Southstar Lofts, nearing completion, ready for visitors

Southstar Lofts

As we noted yesterday, Dranoff Properties would love to see a restaurant move into the corner retail space at Southstar Lofts, on the Avenue of the Arts at Broad and South streets.

In the meantime, the company is ready to show off the apartments to would-be residents, even as work on the interior and exterior of the building remains to be done.

The project is far enough along, however, that we can offer an assessment of how it looks and will likely function. Continue reading

Back to the community-building well at 777 South Broad

Former Chinamoto

Carl Dranoff’s quest to make the Avenue of the Arts a destination for dining as well as culture has apparently hit a speed bump.

While the savvy developer continues to shop the corner retail space at Southstar Lofts as ideal for an eatery, down the street at 777 South Broad, one of those eateries has shut its doors.

Chinamoto Asian Fusion and Lounge, which opened with a bit of a splash in May of last year, is no more. Continue reading

Lunchtime Quick Hits

Inga Saffron has generally admired Carl Dranoff’s business sense but not his architectural one. This time around, she has praise for both; Comcast’s new skyscraper will offer Philly’s priciest office space – but it’s still a bargain compared to New York and DC; Philly’s eds-and-meds nexus may add another med to its roster; and far be it from us to join the scrum of reporters and comedians dumping on this year’s Winter Olympic host city of Sochi, Russia – here’s some generally positive commentary on the architecture of the Olympic facilities that were actually finished on time:

Changing Skyline: With sophisticated tower, Dranoff continues to transform S. Broad (The Philadelphia Inquirer|Philly.com)
PhillyDeals: High rents forecast for Comcast tower (The Philadelphia Inquirer|Philly.com)
New pharma company eyeing Philadelphia? (Philadelphia Business Journal)
Here Now, 10 Buildings Actually Finished In Time for Sochi (Curbed National)

Lunchtime Quick Hits

For some Queen Village residents, it seems, too much parking ain’t enough – and the Zoning Board of Adjustment dismissed their objections to a 75-unit townhouse development with 1:1 parking and 30 more spaces nearby to boot; after they griped that the City Planning Commission was ignoring their concerns, Lower North Philly residents scoped out the latest draft of the district plan and pronounced it good; Hard on the heels of his Avenue of the Arts announcement, developer Carl Dranoff assures Main Liners he’s going ahead with the One Ardmore Place residential-retail project despite the loss of a $12 million state redevelopment grant; and it’s usually not a good sign when a seller doesn’t put up photos of what’s inside a house for sale, but it may be worth plunking down $679k on this Fitler Square fixer-upper given its size and character:

Zoning board approves 75 townhomes in Queen Village (Plan Philly)
Lower North Plan gets warmer reception at final public meeting (Plan Philly)
Dranoff reacts: Developer is confident Ardmore project will get ‘back on track’ (Main Line Times)
Fitler Square Fixer Needs Total Rehab, Asks $679k (Curbed Philly)