Carl Dranoff’s One Riverside project, a proposed 21-story tower at 25th and Locust Streets, adjacent to the Schuylkill River Trail, would make a prominent addition to the Center City skyline. Dranoff of course has already placed his signature on that full view from the South Street Bridge, both through the conversion of the old National Publishing building into the condominium project Locust on the Park, and also more literally, on the billboard resting on top of it: “EXCELLENCE IN URBAN LIVING - DRANOFF”
The sign structure was already there when Dranoff acquired the building in 1998, and according to his attorney Peter Kelsen, he was required to keep it in order to receive tax credits for historic renovation.
“It’s just an architectural embellishment that reflects the past, and I think it’s pretty cool,” Kelsen said.
Dranoff was not immediately available for comment.
Kelsen said that a request to remove the billboard from a Center City resident at Tuesday night’s meeting was the first time he’d heard of anyone complaining about it. The developer made an agreement with CCRA at the time the building was acquired that the sign would not be used for non-accessory advertising purposes, according to Kelsen, so Dranoff has had to keep his own name there for the last 15 years or so. Which must be tough.
Jared Brey is a freelance reporter based in Philadelphia. His work has been featured in Philadelphia magazine, Hidden City, The Philadelphia Inquirer, City & State, and other publications. He covered development, zoning policy, historic preservation, and city government for PlanPhilly from 2011-2016.