Developer Carl Dranoff plans another 176 Philadelphia apartments on South Broad

Carl Dranoff has been developing residential buildings on South Broad Street for almost 20 years. His latest, the 47-story Arthaus luxury condo tower, opens this week.

And the 74-year-old promoter is not done with this first section of urban road. Across two projects, Dranoff has 176 additional apartments planned for South Broad Street, just the latest sign of major new developments for the area.

“I call these filler projects,” Dranoff said. “These are not big trophy projects like Arthaus, but they are very important to keep the street dynamic and not have vacant places 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 land is the former home of a retro-themed McDonald’s, but the site owner did not renew the restaurant’s lease in 2021.

Dranoff partners on the site with owner Jeff Herskowitz, whose background is in retail development in New Jersey.

“That kind of fast food and parking lot usage is a holdover from the past,” Dranoff said. “They are a remnant of underinvestment and the city didn’t have the foresight in the 70s and 80s to maintain a quality street. This will fill another empty space [on South Broad] – and there aren’t many left.

The project site is adjacent to Sprouts Supermarket, part of Alterra Property Group’s 322-unit mixed-use Lincoln Square development on the northwest corner of Broad and Washington. Across the street, the Post Brothers and Bart Blatstein are building a nearly 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 yet been submitted and architectural design renderings are not yet available. Dranoff does not anticipate the need for zoning relief and says the project will begin in 2024.

But next year, Dranoff has another proposal closer to town hall.

On Catty’s corner of Symphony House, Dranoff’s first building on South Broad Street, he plans a 145,000-square-foot, 15-story apartment building in 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 of South Broad.

It is much smaller than the Arthaus, in order to match the scale of the historic structures closer to the town hall and adjoining buildings of the University of the Arts. Anderson Hall, one of the school’s classroom buildings, is right next to the lot. The former Gershman Y sits across from Dranoff’s project and is set to become a new student center for the University of the Arts.

Construction in Broad and Pine is set to begin early next year and will accommodate 91 new units, with retail supply on South Broad. (Residents will enter on Pine Street.)

“It will be bigger apartments for people who could buy a condo, but they don’t know if they want it or not,” Dranoff said. “They arrive in Philadelphia but don’t know what they want to do yet.”

Dranoff began building on South Broad after bidding for the then city-owned parcel at 440 South Broad St., which would become the Symphony House condo tower, in 2003. He later developed the high-end rental properties, but low rise, 777 South Lofts Broad and South Star.