We last checked in on Southstar Lofts in November, when most of the facade was up but lots of details remained unfinished. Yesterday, developer Dranoff Properties celebrated the building's grand opening, and shared some big news about the anchor retail tenant.
This seven story mixed-use building has replaced a large community garden at the important intersection of Broad & South. While we're generally in favor of public green space, we don't think that such a use is appropriate at such a crucial corner. Now, there are 85 luxury rental apartments here, within walking distance to everything in Center City and with easy access to the Broad Street line. At the grand opening yesterday, Carl Dranoff announced that the corner commercial tenant will be owned by Top Chef winner Kevin Sbraga, according to Michael Klein. The restaurant will be Sbraga's third in a Dranoff property and his second on South Broad Street.
Southstar Lofts represents the third Dranoff venture on South Broad, joining Symphony House and 777 South Broad. Next up for Dranoff is another South Broad Street project, the SLS International Hotel and Residences, a tower that will rise at Broad & Spruce. As the name suggests, it will double as a hotel and condo building. It's amazing to consider just how far South Broad has come since Ed Rendell dubbed it the Avenue of the Arts over twenty years ago. And it's even more amazing to consider just how much of a role one developer has had in remaking the Avenue into more of a residential and commmercial hub. We wonder, with some more lots to redevelop, especially south of South Street, will Dranoff Properties continue to stand of the forefront of development on South Broad Street? Or will other developers, like Tower Investments at Broad & Washington, join the party?