Thursday, July 10, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Letters Extra: Engaging community first

The first conversations about the details of this proposed building must be with the local community.

Letters Extra: Engaging community first

One Riverside Park is planned at 25th and Locust, where a parking lot (right) is now.
One Riverside Park is planned at 25th and Locust, where a parking lot (right) is now. TOM GRALISH / Staff Photographer

While accurately reporting that I would not discuss the plans for One Riverside in detail with The Inquirer, I was disappointed that architecture critic Inga Saffron failed to include the important reason why (“Changing Skyline: Challenge on the Schuylkill,” July 26).  Dranoff Properties wholly agrees that “the specialness of the landscape cannot be overstated,” which is why we are going to great lengths to engage the local residents and strictly adhere to the public process that the city has established related to architectural review and construction. 

To me, the first conversations about the details of this proposed building must be with the local community.  While these conversations are well underway and there have been meetings with the Center City Residents Association, there are other community meetings planned in the near term.  I feel it is important to answer neighbors’ questions first before providing details of a project that is “still at an early stage” to the press.  Further, the Civic Design Review Committee has not yet had the opportunity to review and inquire about One Riverside.  Out of respect for the process now in place and the individuals who sit on this panel, I declined to provide specifics related to architectural design.

The questions posed by Saffron are good ones and will be answered during the community review process.  What I can assure our neighbors is that the good of Fitler Square and the Schuylkill River Park is my top priority.  Dranoff Properties is a community partner in every neighborhood in which we build.  One Riverside is an investment in the neighborhood – similar to the investment we made when we built Locust on the Park in 1999 or when I converted the Lippincott Penn warehouse into Locust Point in 1986.  These buildings have added vibrancy to this neighborhood and we believe One Riverside will only further enhance that. 

While I deeply appreciate Saffron’s opinions, I think it is most important that the community have an opportunity to hear about these plans directly from me before deciding how they feel about the addition of One Riverside to the neighborhood.

Carl Dranoff, chief executive officer, Dranoff Properties. 

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