Dranoff Properties will be adding a new member to the family with Southstar Lofts, a seven-story apartment building in the works on Broad and South streets.
If the Dranoff name sounds familiar, that’s because you’ve seen their billboards or heard about the luxe apartments they have all over the city, from The Left Bank in University City to Venice Lofts in Manayunk.
“This is the crossroads of two of Philadelphia’s most vibrant streets. It’s the gateway to South Street,” says Carl Dranoff, head of the company, when asked why he jumped at this particular location. The Broad Street Line, along with several bus routes, is a few steps away, which is typically a huge draw for city dwellers. For those with wheels, there will be a small underground garage.
But for Dranoff, the Avenue of the Arts location is prime for more than just transit reasons. Southstar is between two of his company’s other (already completed) projects: the apartments at 777 South Broad and Symphony House, a condo building at Broad and Pine. Which is located exactly where you might expect it to be. “Southstar is midway between the two,” says Dranoff. “We’re just connecting the dots, filling in the gaping holes on South Broad with new residential projects.”
It isn’t just 85 new apartments that will plug up those holes; there will be retail space, too. Though he won't say yet which vendors would be moving into Southstar's ground floor, Dranoff did let on that there are negotiations happening now. “There will be shops along South Street. It’ll be very food-oriented,” he says. “And expect to have a noteworthy restaurant on the corner that’s glassy, with high ceilings and big windows.”
For those interested in making this their next home, you’ll have to practice patience. The apartments aren’t expected to be move-in ready until August of next year.
If you don’t own a car, the subway and buses aren’t your thing, and walking is out of the question, there’s always the Dranoff bike-share program. “We know that the city is talking about starting a bike share, but we didn’t feel like waiting so we started our own,” says Dranoff. “[Residents] can rent a bike for free for four hours, and it comes with a helmet and a map.”