Southstar Lofts at Broad and South is nearing completion and it looks okay. In fact, okay is exactly how it looks.
It's not a head turner, but it may be a turning point in one of Philadelphia's most passionate developer's portfolio. Despite harsh criticism for Carl Dranoff's ambitious Symphony House and 777 South Broad, he probably won't hear a lot about Southstar. For one thing, it's too simple and bland to really warrant critique, but he also transformed a troublesome corner, a community "garden" on a prime corner that many in the community didn't want.
It's unfortunate that Southstar didn't bring the same edgy design as its neighbor, 1352 Lofts, but once it opens with panoramic views of the Avenue of the Arts, Dranoff is set to bring his A-game with the SLS Hotel on the site of Philadelphia International Records.
Southstar Lofts helps fill South Broad's patchwork of vacant lots and suburban chains, carrying passengers towards 777 South Broad. If Bart Blatstein finally transforms the massive lot at Broad and Washington, we may finally see a cohesive stretch of urbanism connecting Center City and South Philadelphia.