Dranoff site for Southstar Lofts

PHILADELPHIA-Dranoff Properties broke ground Wednesday on its third apartment development on South Broad Street, the Southstar Lofts.

The  Southstar – another building pitched to the growing community of “sophisticated professionals” living in Center City, as CEO Carl Dranoff says – will have 85 high-end, loft-style units above street-level retail.

The 10,045 square feet of commercial space at the corner of Broad and South Streets will continue to boost Philly’s “Avenue of the Arts” as a live/shop/dine corridor, according to Dranoff.

“The intersection is a crossroads between the eclectic vibe of South Street and the cultural scene of the Avenue of the Arts, creating an area unlike any other in Philadelphia,” says the developer. “The Avenue of the Arts is home to some of the greatest restaurants and entertainment venues in the city, and for the future residents of Southstar Lofts, all of those attractions will only be blocks away”

Dranoff also built the 777 South Broad apartments and the Symphony House condominiums. Dranoff has proposed an Arts District residential tower in Newark, NJ, as well – which is strongly supported by city officials, but has yet to secure financing.

The Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC) selected Dranoff Properties’ Southstar Lofts proposal during an RFP process, allowing the city-owned parcel to become a privately-owned luxury apartment building. First Niagara Bank is funding the residential project.

Southstar Lofts will be the company’s second “green” building on Broad Street. The first was 777 South Broad, which is Silver LEED certified. Southstar’s site is next to the South Street Station of SEPTA’s Broad Street subway line and a stop along two bus routes. Residents will also have access to the complimentary Dranoff Bike Share program.

To celebrate the groundbreaking of Southstar Lofts, Dranoff Properties hosted a press conference for civic and business leaders, city officials and arts figures on Wednesday. In honor of the 20th anniversary of the Avenue of the Arts, the company created a time capsule, filled with items from Avenue institutions: a menu from Sbraga (2010 Top Chef winner Kevin Sbraga’s restaurant), a ballet slipper from The Pennsylvania Ballet and a bellman’s cap from Symphony House.

“The groundbreaking of Southstar Lofts is a celebration for Dranoff Properties and also a personal triumph for me,” said Carl Dranoff. “As we look down the Avenue of the Arts, Broad and South was a perfect location for development as it provides ideal living space for Philadelphia’s growing community of sophisticated professionals, who are fully engaged in the business, social and cultural scene that defines this corridor.”