Neighbors concerned about rooftop lounge

A swanky rooftop lounge at 1200 Chestnut Street?

Although it sounds out of character with the building, some developers are pushing for a high-end, rooftop billiards parlor at the stoic building once home to the financial institution Beneficial Saving Fund Society.

The $9 million redevelopment of the building, called “1200 Bank,” has the neighborhood wary of such a large, new nightclub. A zoning official with Washington Square West Civic

Association said yesterday that the group has yet to vote on the project, but that the prospective developer has made some concession since first showing off the project about six weeks ago.

“I understand their concerns,” prospective developer Paul Giegerich told the Philadelphia Business Journal last week, noting that he was still trying to find agreement with residents of the southeastern Center City square. “We want to be a good neighbor.”

The rooftop lounge would be at the same height as condo owners in the nearby White Building.

A final say on the unique proposal may come Nov. 17 when the city Zoning Board is scheduled to hear the application. However, Carl Engelke of the civic association said he hopes a final vote is pushed back until an agreement between all sides can be found.

“We’re trying not to rush to a conclusion,” he said.

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