It has been a long process for the Royal Theater on South Street. The property has been sitting vacant for years, with plans for redevelopment moving forward very slowly.
Now developer Carl Dranoff has sold the property which he intended to develop into 50 luxury residential units and ground-floor retail at 1524 South St. Robert Roskamp, a developer with work in Florida and Chester County, will now be developing the Royal Theater with a similar vision to Dranoff.
Dranoff had been working with Gamble on a proposal to build about 50 apartments with ground-floor retail there. Under the plan, Dranoff and Gamble agreed to preserve the facade of the theater, which once hosted performances by the likes of Fats Waller and Bessie Smith.
Roskamp said he intends to stick largely to that original proposal, although he plans for-sale townhouses along the Kater Street-facing side of the property, rather than apartments. He hopes to submit an application soon to the city for permission to demolish the theater structure, minus the facade.