Monthly Archives

March 2010


777 Broad Street Opens and looking to hit the Jackpot with Tenants

Some would say that Philadelphia’s building boom has gone belly up, well almost, although one such project conceived under the tax abatement program, has been completed. 777 Broad Street officially opened in March 2010 as predicted many years ago by Developer Carl Dranoff and his team. (I guess if you own the whole 701 block you can create any address you want)
According to an article in the Philadelpia Inquirer 10/4/09: The project, the start of Dranoff’s effort to push the border of Center City farther south, sits less than a quarter-mile from Dranoff’s 31-story, $130 million Symphony House condo tower.Rents will range from $1,900 for one bedroom to $2,600 for two. Currently, the average rent in the region is $1,361, up 6 percent from 2008, according to the apartment search engine (Where the heck is that and is that for a 1 bedroom, really?). I don’t fault the rents being that high, because this is a high end, super luxury apartment building.
Carl Dranoff addresses the crowd, as Councilman DiCicco and Judge Marjorie Rendell look on. Judge Rendell has really spearheaded the Avenue of the Arts project for over 10 years. My boss who has since passed away, Harold Kohn, was also one of the early supporters.
There were nearly 500 people from all walks of life attending, including dignitaries, politicians, the movers and shakers and good for him for inviting the maintenance staff, construction workers, people who work in his office and new residents. In this shot from left in the grey suit Sen Larry Farnese, Carol Tinari, and Bill Green Jr. who looks just like his dad.

Ruben and Sandra Krisztal. Ruben J. Krisztal, Esq., came to the United States from Argentina in 1967. He has been practicing law for over twenty years and has been litigating nursing home cases for more than fifteen years. He received his B.A. and J.D. from the University of Missouri at Kansas City. He and his wife have a full time home in their native Kansas, but spend a good amount of time here in Philly as Ruben is working on a few very important cases. They are the 1st tenants to sign a lease at 777 and are excited to move in at the end of April. They love the amentities, and the fact that it’s a GREEN building.
Rollin Ward, David Riley and Eugene Radcliff enjoy the party. The event was held in the future spot of a restaurant that Carl Dranoff would not disclose to me. The space was about 20,000 square feet.
But the residents of 777 do have The Fitzwater Pub (At first I thought nice Irish name for their “clubhouse” pub, but then I remembered a bordering street is Fitzwater. It’s probably a play on both words.) The room is so much more than this picture, but I liked the pool table.

Jen Abrams, Joe Petrusky and lovely in green Roberta Dranoff
Carl Dranoff challenged the interior design students at Drexel to turn 777’s hospitality suite into a luxurious, eco-conscious living space. During the challenge, groups of students in Professor Debra Ruben’s Competition Studio class competed against one another to design a space that meet standards in sustainability, function, and budget. Ruben is a LEED AP and head of Drexel’s Interiors Program sustainability curriculum. The winning team was “The Three C’s” Chrstine Murray, Candace Spence and Courtney Robinson, in their winning apartment.
Mark Segal, excited to announce that beau Jason is returning from the Far East after a year long study. Annie Carl, Gov Rendell’s office and Robert Metzer
Philadelphia Style Magazine’s publisher John Colabelli, with Nina Stanley and newly promoted Associate Publisher at Philadelphia Style Magazine / Niche Media LLC Noah Stein.
Avenue of the Arts
Annie Carl, Terry Gillian, RDA and Karen Lewis, Executive Director of The Avenue of the Arts
The largest two-bedroom units, at the corners with the best views, will go for $3,800 a month.
The 5th floor corner unit where Carl Dranoff is posing with his daughter, mother in law and her BFF
For a great read on the progress of 777 Broad Street, check out the Sky-scrapper blog



READ MY LETTER TO DARK FIELDS actress ABBIE CORNISH (PIX I took of her Monday there too)

As mentioned in Michael Klein’s column last week, Bradley Cooper & Renee Zellweger, in town for his movie Dark Fields, did a screen test, a make-up test and photo shoot at Philly’s newest film studio Philadelphia Soundstages

According to an article in FlimSlate:

Philadelphia has long been a destination for filmmakers. The gritty exteriors, the iconic landmarks and the everyday people of the city that often find their way into productions make for great location shooting. But at Philadelphia Soundstages, the goal is to do more, to turn the city into a place where not only homegrown filmmaking talent, but productions from all over, have a facility to accommodate modest budgets. And now, as most states, including Pennsylvania, have passed some sort of tax incentives for the film business, it makes Philly as likely as any other major city to become a filmmaking center. The studio, founded by real estate developer and businessman David Sabag, is in a former warehouse that Sabag found lying dormant and in foreclosure on North 5th Street, but saw something in to spark his business interests. Sabag has international connections, but first and foremost he believes in promoting Philadelphia. He also has a knack for finding people with complimentary talents. Being the visionary, but having never been in the film industry, being surrounded by people with backgrounds in the business is key.

Scott Kuhn, Director of Corporate Development and Government Affairs of the Soundstage, with Renee Zellweger.
The studio, founded by real estate developer and businessman David Sabag, is in a former warehouse that Sabag found lying dormant and in foreclosure on North 5th Street, but saw something in to spark his business interests.

Enter Thomas Ashley, CEO of Invincible Pictures and Director at Philadelphia Soundstages, and Scott Kuhn, Director of Corporate Development and Government Affairs. Ashley is the filmmaker of the group operating out of the studio, and he speaks the language to other filmmakers and brings in projects with his industry connections. As Kuhn says, he “does the actual work.” To read the rest of the article go HERE:
You’ll recall we met Tom Ashley over the summer when I shot the behind the scene’s filming of Azziz’s new video at Chelsea Hotel “Let’s Go” for
Thanks to Philadelphia Soundstage for providing these photos.



(There are three entries today, yesterday 3 entries. If you haven’t yet, check out the flowers at the Macy’s Center City Flower Show. It will brighten your day. I wrote about it Sunday.)

I’ve been getting a lot of tips this week about a few Hollywood celebs visiting Philly, plus been getting a lot of questions like this today? What Movie Is Filming in Philadelphia this Week?

Jimmy Smits is currently filming a new pilot in Philadelphia. The series, entitled Garza (formerly Justice) is being produced by Conan O’Brien’s production company for NBC.
On Location Vacation: the best source for filming locations, celebrity sightings and events in the world, and one I contribute too. (But if you see a celebrity, I would appreciate the tip first so I can try and photograph them. If you give me the tip, and I get a shot, I promise to send you a picture of them too.)
Other folks in town this week: Actress Kathleen Turner playing at the Suzanne Roberts Theater in The Red Hot Patriot: The Kick Ass Wit of Molly Ivins. (I took this shot last Friday night after I got out of my sick bed. KT is not one that like’s getting her photo taken [I’ve seen her in NYC, more than once], so when the opportunity presented itself I took it.) (I do it because I love doing it, it’s my hobby and it cost a few dollars and time but I love it, and I love bringing the pictures & stories to you. I mean WOW on this picture, it’s the authors of the play, who are identical twins and it’s Kathleen Turner the star of the play. It’s just the perfect picture; and Kathleen is laughing and you can almost hear that haughty laugh that’s had too much smoke coursing through it over the years.)
For the past two weeks I’ve been getting a lot of tips on Miss Turner hanging out on Rittenhouse Row and it wasn’t about shopping either, rather it was visiting the watering holes and reading her book. First she was going to Rouge, but now she seems to have settled into Owen Wilson’s favorite spot, Parc.

And this guy on Twitter, who is hysterical proves my theory:

UnckleJason Kathy Turner is at Parc again. She lives here. I love it. And she is drinking a greyhound at 10 in the morning. Amazing. via mobile web

Sunday: Kathleen Turner and Jimmy Smits at Parc today. If this was 1994, people would give a shit. 1 day ago from Mobile Web

(Actually Had I been around and read that, I would have shot that. So Classic, one of a kind shot, maybe it doesn’t have money value, but i don’t do this for the money.)

Also in town: Bradley Cooper & Renee Zellweger:

Last August a tipster told me they were at a Starbucks on Walnut Street. Us Magazine contacted me when they saw a Tweet I did, cause a lot of my pictures from my agency is published in that magazine I guess cause they asked me to run down with my camera and get a few shots and ask some questions. Everything was handled by my agency and they paid me about $50 for the story, which was later picked up without pay by People Magazine, shown below.

For the past 3 weeks Bradley Cooper & Renee Zellweger have been spending their days in Center City. He’s getting ready to shoot a film with Robert Deniro & Abbe Cornish called “Dark Fields”. So while Bradley’s been getting his make-up tested, his costumes chosen and doing photo shoots at Girard College, Renee has been hanging out at Walnut Street Starbucks, as well as the one at Macy’s twice last week.

Neither time have I seen her, bummer. My goal really is to get them both. I only care to get once really, then I can cross it off my bucket list. I’ve photographed them both before and they are super nice. The heat from these two is so hot that my serious paparazzi friends from NYC will be down here shooting them as soon as the film starts in mid-April. SO READERS ARE WE GOING TO LET A NYC PAPARAZZI GET THE SHOT BEFORE THE PHILADELPHIA PAPARAZZI, I hope not. Tip Me Off Please, I promise gift bags, a shot of the celeb & perhaps a ticket to one of the hot events happening in the City.)

Buzz @ Philly Chit Chat dot Com

Also this week, Thursday at Williams – Sonoma
Giada De Laurentiis @ Williams-Sonoma

Williams-Sonoma King of Prussia
Thursday, April 1, 2010 at 1:00pm

160 North Gulph Road, King of Prussia, PA 19406
(610) 265-5970 Williams-Sonoma The Bellevue
Thursday, April 1, 2010 at 5:00pm
200 South Broad St., Philadelphia, PA 19102
(215) 545-7392