What The Avenue Of The Arts Has Meant To Center City Philadelphia Real Estate

English: The Ritz-Carlton Philadelphia.

English: The Ritz-Carlton Philadelphia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Banks moved out, theaters moved in, and – if the price of real estate in the neighborhood is any sign – things got a lot better around South Broad Street after the birth of the Avenue of the Arts.

Back in 1993, Peter C. Soens recalls, he sold the former Girard Bank building at Broad and Chestnut Streets, now home to the Ritz-Carlton, for $2 million.

Soon afterward, Soens, a partner at the commercial building broker and manager SSH Real Estate, sold One East Penn Square, across from City Hall, for $2.1 million.

By contrast, Soens said recently, “last year, 260 S. Broad St., a similar-sized building, also basically empty, sold for $27.5 million.” The buyer, Post Bros., says it will convert the former Atlantic office building to apartments.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20131028_What_the_Avenue_of_the_Arts_has_meant_to_city_real_estate.html#A0AAAizI3Fxq8j78.99

Changing Skyline: Challenge On The Schuylkill

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia ...

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ever since Philadelphia began taking its waterfronts seriously a decade ago, it has dreamed of shores lined with lithe, elegant, Vancouver-style towers.  Master plans were assembled, new recreation paths were laid, parks were created. Yet only a few high-rises have materialized, none of them the least bit thin or urbane.

That may be about to change.  Developer Carl Dranoff is planning a 21-story apartment building on the Schuylkill that has the potential to raise the bar for all waterfront design in Philadelphia.

Or not.

Before we venture further, a strong note of caution:  The project is still at an early stage, when only the site plan and the tower’s basic form, or massing, have been established.  We don’t know crucial details, like the color of the building or the material.  But the tower’s profile is svelte enough, and its architect good enough, that it is possible to imagine something special emerging.  Then again, we should keep in mind that Dranoff is the same guy who gave us the giant Pepto Bismol bottle called Symphony House.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/home/20130726_Changing_Skyline__Challenge_on_the_Schuylkill.html#vQM37qxs5JRaUOJd.99