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Hotel out, 28-story condo tower in at Broad and Pine [Update]

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The proposed tower is skinnier and taller

Developer Carl Dranoff wants to build a 28-story tower by-right at Broad and Pine.
Renderings by Cecil Baker + Partners

Plans for the northeast corner of Broad and Pine have changed significantly, swapping out a 23-story hotel for a 28-story residential tower with 56 condos and a 92-car underground parking garage.

Developer Carl Dranoff and architect Cecil Baker have teamed up again after One Riverside on the Schuylkill, and are planning to build a by-right, 361-foot-tall condo building on the corner of Broad and Pine. Currently, the corner is home to a Starbucks and parking garage.

Baker and representatives for Dranoff Properties presented their plans to the Washington Square West Civic Association on Tuesday night ahead of a September 5 Civic Design Review.

The proposed Pine Street entrance for residents.

When Dranoff first presented plans for the site in 2015, the proposal called for a 78-room boutique hotel and apartment building. But Dranoff Properties says the new proposal, which is less dense and offers for sale condos, will provide a “less transitory” population and less traffic congestion surrounding the neighborhood.

The design has also changed substantially, with Baker creating a skinnier, taller, and metal-clad building—“something that was not a glass tower,” he said. The taller tower is the result of the 11-foot, 9-inch tall ceilings in each condo unit, which will average about 2,500 square feet.

The redesign also calls for retail on the ground floor and an amenity level on the second level. Watts Street, which sits behind the proposed condo tower, will be widened in order to allow cars to drive in and out of the underground parking garage.

At the neighborhood meeting, one member asked why the condo tower needed nearly two parking spaces for every unit, especially given the walkability of the neighborhood.

Baker said in his experience, many luxury condo residents have more than one car and more often than not use the parking garages for storage.

Residents in attendance at the meeting also questioned the construction timeline of the project and how it will coincide with Dranoff’s other condo-hotel project, SLS Hotel & Residences the next block over at Broad and Spruce.

Dranoff Properties said the current plan is to begin work on SLS first, followed by the Broad and Pine condo tower. SLS construction should begin by the end of the year or early 2018, as long as the developer is awarded its requested $19 million RACP state grant. The construction timeline on this 45-story tower is approximately two and a half years.

Once SLS is complete, Dranoff Properties will begin demolition on the current structure at Broad and Pine and build the condo tower from the ground up. Construction is estimated to take about 28 months.

Update: A demolition permit for the site was issued by Licenses & Inspections (L&I) on August 29.

But the developer does have a deadline for the Broad and Pine tower. The CMX-5 zoning variance it acquired in 2015 includes a sunset provision that requires construction permits to be in hand by 2020. If the SLS hotel is delayed again, Dranoff Properties said it would consider starting construction on the Broad and Pine tower first in order to meet the variance’s 2020 deadline.

However, the team stressed that the project is still in the early stages, so it could not provide any concrete timelines.

The design proposal now goes to the Civic Design Review committee on September 5.

The current view of Broad and Pine.
Photo by Melissa Romero