Posts Tagged ‘Dranoff Properties’
Civic leader, entrepreneur and urban visionary, Carl Dranoff is president and founder of Dranoff Properties. For over three decades, he has been a leader in creating unparalleled residential destinations that revitalize the urban core. Though based in Philadelphia, Dranoff’s work has gained national recognition and respect, with a portfolio range of historic rehabilitations, ground-up skyscrapers and complex mixed-use projects.
Dranoff earned his B.S. in Civil Engineering at Drexel University and his MBA from Harvard University. He has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Engineering from Drexel University and has been named “Entrepreneur of the Year” by Ernst & Young.
Q: How did you get your start in the real estate development business?
From an early age I knew I wanted to be a builder. To prepare, I armed myself with the proper education, graduating from Drexel University with a degree in civil engineering and earning an MBA at the Harvard Business School.
I started my career working for Jack Blumenfeld and Company on the 1500 Locust Street apartment project, then under construction. I’ve always had a strong entrepreneurial spirit, and working for Blumenfeld helped feed my dream of establishing my own company.
Q: What is your favorite part of your job? What do you find most challenging?
I love proving the naysayers wrong, undertaking projects the pundits say are impossible or too risky. Our projects are complex and the coordination and management of all the aspects really separates us from the competition. We go into cutting edge locations, reinvigorate a neighborhood, and deliver an imaginative and high quality project.
Dranoff Properties employs the best and most experienced staff, along with our veteran executive leaderships. However, we work in a very fast paced industry, and as any successful company can attest, keeping everyone on the same path can be challenging. Honestly, finding enough hours in the day is the biggest challenge I have. We have projects underway, irons in the fire and a strong vision for the future – it’s an exciting time for us.
Q: How have economic conditions affected Dranoff Properties’ strategy? Have you widened or narrowed your focus due to present conditions? Read the rest of this entry »
No self-respecting luxury developer makes “apartments” anymore. Nowadays, high-end residential units are called “lofts.” If you ask me, calling apartments “lofts” is like saying vahz instead of vase. Also, many of today’s so-called lofts are ground-up developments, rather than converted industrial buildings as the term originally implied. (Thus we have a distinction between “hard” lofts and “soft” lofts.)
Okay, we’ll call them lofts. Either way, they’re big business, both for national REITs and local investors, and a source of much-needed economic activity for cities big and small.
I often gripe that secondary markets are overlooked for investment opportunities. One potential opportunity in some secondary markets is luxury multifamily properties. The underdevelopment in some non-gateway markets often leaves centrally located parcels of land with strong development potential.
Take, for instance, Philadelphia’s Avenue of the Arts. This district, formed two decades ago on South Broad Street, hosts some of the city’s most prominent theaters, hotels, and restaurants. At a certain point, however, this thriving area abruptly stops.
Local developer Carl Dranoff has realized the potential for the great amount of unused or underused land only blocks from City Hall. In recent years, he and Dranoff Properties have deployed many millions of dollars into this area to bring high-end residential offerings to match the quality of its location. Last week, Dranoff Properties broke ground on its newest project, an 85-unit mid-rise project to feature green technology and an elaborate work of public art called “Light Play.” Read the rest of this entry »
This alone demonstrates the need for more efficient transportation solutions in today’s communities, a need many urban planners and developers are trying to address. As communities evolve to better accommodate the movement of its residents, real estate of all kinds will be forced to keep pace.
The Urban Land Institute, which is all over stuff like this, recently published a piece on its UrbandLand website discussing the growing appeal of dense urban communities and strategies for suburban communities to replicate this appeal.
After nearly 60 years of sprawl, economic and demographic changes have reignited the urban consolidation of the early 20th century. There are a number of reasons for this, beyond the cost of long-distance car travel:
- Thanks to the recession, and perhaps the experience of growing up in the ‘burbs themselves, many post-baby boomers are opting to rent in the city rather than own in the suburbs
- Increased environmental consciousness has made cities appealing for their efficiency (which ties into the whole car thing, of course)
- Generally speaking, the cultural/lifestyle differences between downtown and suburban areas makes urban living attractive to college grads uninterested in the white-picket-fence option Read the rest of this entry »