Dranoff targets another RCA building

Carl Dranoff in his Broad Street office, next to a model of his Victor Lofts.

Developer Carl Dranoff, who was responsible for transforming Camden's former RCA Victor factory into the city's first luxury apartment building, wants to make another RCA building his next project.

Dranoff's company has submitted a proposal to renovate the Camden School District's central office building on Front Street at Cooper Street, which is within two blocks of Dranoff's Victor Lofts building and the Radio Lofts building that Dranoff has long had plans to transform into a condominium complex.

Dranoff said he would consider using the building as office space for businesses and companies looking to move to or relocate within Camden. "Geographically, it makes sense," he said.

Dranoff listed the Victor building for sale last year, and his plans for Radio Lofts have been delayed by a shortfall in funding for the city to remediate the former industrial property.

The eight-story home of the schools' central offices was built as executive offices of the Victor Talking Machine Co., later RCA Victor, which had its factories nearby. It has been used for more than a decade by the school district, which bought the property in 2006 for about $2 million. The district is seeking a buyer willing to pay at least $3 million.

The building houses about 200 employees, district spokesman Brendan Lowe said. Like many Camden school buildings, the structure is outdated and in need of new windows, plumbing, heating and cooling systems, and electrical work, among other upgrades. The district has spent more than $850,000 on maintenance and upkeep over the last three years alone, officials have said.

Dranoff's proposal is one of at least two the district has received. When the building sells, office staff could either move or lease space from the new owner.


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