Carl Dranoff's new project, (the news of which Hidden City broke last month) is official: an article just came out in the Inquirer about it. The project, which will occupy the site where Philadelphia International Records' home will be "the tallest residentially focused building" in Pennsylvania. The hotel will be called the "SLS International": it'll be run by SLS hotels, and the name will recall the site's former use as the home of Philadelphia International Records, the birthplace of the Philadelphia Sound.
Dranoff noted that the success of the project will depend upon City Council's changing the zoning code: by extending a zoning designation which currently ends at Spruce Street south to Pine,the building will be able to have a larger square footage (relative to how big the lot is).
The building itself will be a mixed-use luxury boutique hotel with 149 guest rooms, six suites, and 125 condos (the condos and hotel will have separate entrances.) Parking, the main concern of all the city's neighbors, is also covered: 220 spaces will be provided for hotel guests and condo residents. SLS International will also house a "double height" glass ballroom, and street level retail, to include a bar/restaurant, and shops. Dranoff said, "Great cities build great buildings", perhaps feeding hopes that it'll be a little different from Dranoff's other project South Broad Tower, Symphony House, (which archicritic Inga Saffron has referred to as "a Frankenstein mix of historical elements", "a clumsy, contemporary fake", "decorated with the padded-shoulder pomposity of the Reagan era", and "like a sequined and over-rouged strumpet").
The architect, A. Eugene Kohn, is a Philly local who attended Central High School and UPenn. The hotel brand, SLS, is known for super trendy designs, and their website states that they like to foster "elements of creativity and community". The man behind SLS Hotels, Sam Nazarian, emphasized that the new hotel on Broad Street would "elevate" the "creativity" that "Philadelphia is already committed to...through the Avenue of the Arts". Perhaps it's ironic that a hotel developer planning to put in a luxury hotel and condo skyscraper where Philadelphia International Records created the Philadelphia Sound, but it seems unlikely that Dranoff would have announced the project without knowing that it would get approved. Get ready, South Broad: the SLS International is coming soon.
· 47-story hotel/condo building set for South Broad [The Inquirer]
· Philadelphia Int'l Records Out, 40-Story Hotel-Condo In At Broad & Spruce [Hidden City]
· Dranoff to develop another South Broad St. project [Philadelphia Business Journal]