Carl Dranoff has been developing residential buildings on South Broad Street for almost 20 years. His latest, the 47-story luxury condo tower Arthaus, opens this week.
And the 74-year-old developer isn’t done with this premier stretch of urban roadway. Across two projects, Dranoff has 176 more apartments planned for South Broad Street, just the latest sign of major new developments for the area.
“I call these infill projects,” said Dranoff. “They’re not trophy big projects like Arthaus, but they’re very important for retaining the vibrancy of the street and not having vacant spots along the avenue.”
One of the buildings would be an 85,000-square-foot tower, with 85 units and ground floor retail at the corner of Broad and Carpenter. The lot is the former home of a retro-themed McDonald’s, but the owner of the site did not renew the restaurant’s lease in 2021.
Dranoff is partnering on the site with the owner, Jeff Herskowitz, whose background is in New Jersey retail development.
“Those kinds of fast food and parking lots uses are a vestige of the past,” said Dranoff. “They’re a vestige of underinvestment and the city not having the foresight in the ‘70s and ‘80s to maintain a quality street. This will fill in another empty spot [on South Broad] — and there aren’t many left.”
The project site is next door to the Sprouts supermarket, which is part of Alterra Property Group’s 322-unit Lincoln Square mixed-use development at the northwest corner of Broad and Washington. Across the street, the Post Brothers and Bart Blatstein are building an almost 1,500-unit mixed-use project that will include another supermarket and an additional 26,000 square feet of retail.
Applications for the Broad and Carpenter building have not been submitted yet, and renderings of the architectural design are not yet available. Dranoff does not anticipate the need for zoning relief and says the project will break ground in 2024.
But next year, Dranoff has another proposal closer to City Hall.
Catty-corner from Symphony House, Dranoff’s first building on South Broad Street, he plans a 145,000-square-foot, 15-story apartment building at Broad and Pine. This project is further along in the development process, and would have more of a neoclassical design to match the older office buildings on South Broad.
It is far shorter in stature than Arthaus, in a bid to match the scale of the historic structures closer to City Hall and the adjoining University of the Arts buildings. Anderson Hall, one of the school’s classroom buildings, is right next door to the lot. The former Gershman Y is across the street from Dranoff’s project and is slated to become a new student center for University of the Arts.
Construction at Broad and Pine is expected to begin early next year, and will host 91 new units, with a retail offering on South Broad. (Residents will enter on Pine Street.)
“These are going to be larger apartments for people who could buy a condo, but they’re not sure if they want to or not,” said Dranoff. “They are coming into Philadelphia but aren’t sure what they want to do yet.”
Dranoff started building on South Broad after bidding for the then-city owned parcel at 440 South Broad St., which would become Symphony House condo tower, in 2003. He then developed the high-end, but low-rise, rental buildings 777 South Broad and South Star Lofts.