PHILADELPHIA, May 9, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Avenue of the Arts, Inc., the organization that champions investment in Philadelphia's theater and cultural arts district on South Broad Street, will present the organization's inaugural Visionary Awards to the Honorable Ed Rendell and developer Carl Dranoff, president and CEO of Dranoff Properties, at its annual Gala, Wednesday, May 15th.. CBS 3 Anchor Ukee Washington will emcee the festivities to be held at the Avenue's newest venue, The Lucy presented by Cescaphe. The University of the Arts' celebrated "Z" Big Band, under the direction of Matt Gallagher, will perform at the event.
For more than 25 years, Rendell and Dranoff have led the charge for the Avenue of the Arts and pioneered efforts to transform South Broad Street into Philadelphia's premier cultural, entertainment and living destination. Rendell, the former Governor of Pennsylvania and Mayor of Philadelphia, was the lead advocate for the rebranding and expansion of South Broad Street around its arts district during his terms as Mayor, spearheading the building of the Kimmel Center, which changed the face of South Broad Street and brought the Avenue of the Arts brand name to life.
Dranoff, among the first and largest private investors and developers on the Avenue and one of its most supportive residents, saw the potential for the Avenue to become a residential hub. Dranoff developed Symphony House, the first ever ground-up high-rise condominium on the Avenue of the Arts. Symphony House brought new residents, restaurants, parking and new vitality to the Avenue with the addition of the Suzanne Roberts Theatre. The project was transformative for the Avenue, establishing it as a premier destination to live, work and play. Dranoff continued to develop additional mixed-use properties, 777 South Broad and Southstar Lofts, that have made the Avenue a home for more than 18,000 Philadelphians.
"It's an honor to introduce the Avenue of the Arts Visionary Award with two recipients who really define that label," says Dianne Semingson, Chair of the Avenue of the Arts, Inc. Board. "Ed Rendell and Carl Dranoff set the example for how a public and private partnership can facilitate change and drive growth in Philadelphia. Ed Rendell's foresight and bold leadership helped transform South Broad Street from an office and banking corridor to one of the most vibrant arts districts in the country. On the heels of the Kimmel Center opening and the revitalization of the neighborhood, Carl Dranoff took a huge leap of faith with Symphony House, making Broad Street into a destination for living and working, not just visiting. Their partnership and shared vision has had a profound impact on creating the bustling Avenue of the Arts that we enjoy today – and will continue to enjoy for years to come."
"The Avenue of the Arts has become a leading economic engine for Philadelphia," adds AAI President, Paul Beideman, "drawing 2.8 million visitors a year, generating more than $1 billion in economic impact and is quickly becoming a residential center with the number of residents expected to double over the next five years. Carl Dranoff has two more signature properties planned across from the Kimmel Center and a total of seven new construction projects are in the works along South Broad. The future for the Avenue of the Arts is a bright one and we are committed to building the partnerships that gives the Avenue every opportunity to reach its full potential."
For tickets to the Avenue of the Arts, Inc. Visionary Awards go to:
AAI and its associated organization, Friends of the Avenue of the Arts, work to promote investment, beautification and marketing of the Avenue of the Arts to make the Avenue a great place to live, work, shop and play.
SOURCE Avenue of the Arts, Inc.