AGREEMENT REACHED RE BOYD THEATER MAKEOVER
ON 1900 BLOCK OF CHESTNUT STREET
Stephen Starr announced plans for a sports-themed restaurant at the
Boyd Theater location on the 1900 block of Chestnut St., CCRA President
Rick Gross created a Stakeholders Group to address the many concerns
voiced by local organizations and individuals. The Stakeholders Group
has recently announced that it has reached an agreement with the Starr
organization regarding these issues of local concern.
the Starr organization, called “Bankroll”, announced that it had signed
a lease for the former Boyd theater space and the adjacent Gap outlet
in the 1900 block of Chestnut Street, residents and others throughout
the CCRA neighborhood expressed concerns about the operations. The
proposed project is a sports-themed restaurant, incorporating many of
the Art Deco elements which were preserved from the Boyd in a handsome
and sophisticated space.
will be TV screens throughout to allow patrons to use a
specially-designed app to win prizes based on real-time developments in a
variety of games. The app is optional and patrons may just enjoy their
meal without participating.
there were fears that the project would lead to gaming at the site,
that congestion would snarl an already clogged Chestnut Street, that
large crowds would be noisy and raucous and negatively impact nearby
Stakeholders Group explored those concerns with an eye toward
identifying possible solutions. Charles Robin, owner of Robin
Apartments with many adjacent buildings was selected to chair the group,
and board members from several adjacent residences were appointed as
well. In addition, people from beyond the immediate vicinity were added
to the group to assure a diversity of views. This approach had been used
most successfully in the past to negotiate with the developers of the
Harper and the Laurel to assure that neighborhood concerns were
accommodated in their plans. The Stakeholders believe they have likewise
arrived at a very beneficial agreement for near neighbors and beyond.
respond to concerns about the possibility of gaming, the agreement
provides for a recorded covenant on the property, running with the land,
which forbids gaming of any kind in perpetuity,
even if it were somehow to be legal in the future. To respond to
concerns about quality-of-life issues, Bankroll has agreed to:
- extensive security provisions,
- an off-duty police presence,
- noise and crowd restrictions,
- maintaining traffic flow with a full-time staff dedicated to that purpose.
outdoor dining or drinking will be permitted. Outdoor lighting is
strictly regulated and green elements are required in the outdoor
design. Finally, in the event that a Bankroll patron causes damage to
any nearby property, the company will indemnify its owners up to $50,000
describing the agreement, Charles Robin said: “We are very pleased with
this agreement. For the first time ever, a major tenant proposing a new
use is offering to enter into a binding agreement with Stakeholders and
CCRA to alleviate neighborhood concerns on quality-of-life issues. I
feel that Bankroll listened to those concerns and responded
positively. I am optimistic that they will be a good addition to a
previously blighted stretch of Chestnut Street.”
proposed restaurant requires a special exception under the Zoning
Code. A hearing before the CCRA Zoning Committee was held on September
28thwhere the CCRA Zoning Committee voted not to oppose (with standard
restaurant conditions) the special exception by a substantial margin. A
video of the Bankroll presentation to the Zoning Committee is available here.
The proposed agreement may be accessed by following this link. It will be considered by the CCRA Board at its meeting on November 9th. Comments are welcome and can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.