The Victor Apartments building, with its stoic tower topped by a stain-glass window featuring Nipper the RCA dog, has been put up for sale for an undisclosed amount. Developer Carl Dranoff has been unable to pay back a $3M loan he received from the Delaware River Port Authority (DRPA) to redevelop the former RCA factory on Market St. in Camden into 341 luxury lofts. According to The Inquirer, the U.S. Attorney's Office has investigating DRPA loans since April 2013, focusing on spending for "economic development." Yikes. Dranoff denies the loan for the Victor, a gorgeous red-brick former industrial site with uninterrupted views of the Philly skyline, is involved in that investigation. DRPA thinks otherwise.
The Inquirer has more:
"In 2003, Dranoff received a $3 million loan from the Delaware River Port Authority for the Victor Lofts conversion. The loan was to remain interest-free until 2009, when Dranoff was to start repaying it in monthly installments of $23,259 until the end of 2014, according to the agreement. The loan balance would be paid in a lump sum, according to the agreement.
But the agreement also states that Dranoff's obligation to make payments is limited to the Victor's "available cash flow.""
Commerical estate firm CBRE Inc. has the listing and has not yet disclosed the price of the 356,420 square-foot property that's "93 percent occupied". According to Apartments.com, 1- to 3-bedroom units in The Victor range from $1,095 to $2,200 per month. The Camden Courier Post notes that some of New Jersey's power players have places there as well: "The 356,000-square-foot building is home to some of Camden's best-known residents, including newly elected U.S. Congressman Donald Norcross and city schools Superintendent Paymon Rouhanifard."
Camden has seen a flurry of development recently as New Jersey is looking to beef up the waterfront through generous tax incentives and grants. The Philadelphia 76ers have announced their new "world-class" training facility with an $82M grant as one of the main draws to the project. Brandywine Realty Trust was just chosen to develop the 13 acre Campbell's Soup Co. facility into a "Gateway District". Hell, there is even a pop-up park downtown now. While this may be a setback for Dranoff, a statement provided to The Inquirer said he's not giving up on revitalizing Camden, noting that he still plans to develop the nearby Radio Loft site. Aside from his various projects on S. Broad St. and near the Schuylkill River, he's also in the midst of planning to redevelop the Royal Theater. Thanks to recent legislative zoning measures, the plans for a 45-unit apartment building and large ground floor retail space are inching ever-so forward.