a saying in politics that goes something like “Never let a good crisis
go to waste”. Pretty cynical, we admit. But at the same time, there’s
some reasonable truth to it.
about it: in the past 20 months, Center City has been buffeted by the
Covid-19 pandemic, by rioting, and most recently by Hurricane Ida’s
flooding and tornadoes.
That’s a lot and, if things happen in 3’s, then maybe we’re done for a while.
in any event, let’s not let these ‘crises’ go to waste. Time for a
re-think, time for a reboot. What’s really important now? What’s the
“right thing”? What to do?
For our part? We’d jettison Ben Simmons and reboot the Sixers. But what’s your part? What’s your reboot? We’d like to know.
CCRA News and Events
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.
Election Day is Tuesday: Not Sure Where to Vote?
For those not certain where to vote this Tuesday, Pennsylvania Voter Services provides the following link here. Simply plug in your address info and click “Search”.
Note to those who normally vote at Markward: Due to the hurricane you
are likely voting at Trinity Memorial Church at 2212 Spruce, but please
use the Voter Services tool to verify.
If SEPTA Goes on Strike…..
At press time it was possible that SEPTA workers could go on strike Monday, Nov. 1. What would that mean? Answers here.
Down and Out in Rittenhouse with Nick Nolte
CCRA photographer Ben Zuckerman snapped some pix during a Rittenhouse film shoot starring Nick Nolte. Details and more here.
No need to head off to a tropical isle (not that there’s anything wrong with that….).
Just take your troubles over to the Good Karma Café
at 22d and Pine, where the fine folks there provide food, drink, and a
totally laid-back vibe (even when it’s crowded, which is often, and for
Karma ticks all the boxes: unique food and drink, friendly service,
indoor/outdoor, seasonal fare (think pumpkin chai latte), eco-friendly,
dog-friendly, vegan/vegetarian (vegan scones!), great playlists, fast
and free WiFi.
four locations around town, how can you lose? Only by not taking
advantage of the 5% CCRA member discount at the 22d and Pine location.
Clean, Safe, and Green
week, WHYY hosted TrashTalk -Working toward a clean Philadelphia! The
conversation focused on panelists: Meir Rinde, Terrill Haigler, Matthew
George, Shari Hersh, and Kyle Lewisdove discussing the work being done
in the city to clean streets and reduce illegal dumping. Learn more here.
the name “Down North Pizza” rings a bell, it may be because the
Strawberry Mansion pizza parlor was named one of the 50 best restaurants
in the country, or that it made Bon Appetit's “Heads of the Table”
maybe you’ve heard of it because of its mission: to fight recidivism by
staffing the operation with only formerly incarcerated people. Either
way, it’s a remarkable story, and you can read about it here.
October 29th, explore the Museum with festive disguises, but don’t be
shocked if the Mütter holds a few scary surprises. Register now, if you
are brave and enjoy special performances, dancing, and even contact from
beyond the grave. Learn more here.
Spooky Mini Golf at Franklin Square, 200 N. 6th St
if you dare! Embrace spooky fun when Center City’s only miniature golf
course transforms into Spooky Mini Golf, from 6 to 10 p.m. Now through
October 31. Learn more here.
Halloween Weekend with the Museum
The Museum of the American Revolution invites
you and your family to Halloween Weekend, Sat, Oct. 30, and Sun, Oct.
31- featuring themed activities onsite and online. A discount of $2 off
admission for kids who come in costume, onsite, walk-up tickets only.
(Face masks in addition to costume masks are required for ages 5 and
Boo at the Zoo, 3400 Girard Ave.
The Philadelphia Zoo transforms into a seasonal wildlife wonderland for Boo at the Zoo.
Kids can wear their costumes to greet animals, get their photo snapped,
and grab candy at stations set up throughout the attraction. Oct 29 -
Get your scare on at the Fright Factory in South Philly, 2200 Swanson St.
Inside a 120-year-old factory in South Philadelphia, the Fright Factory summons
screams galore. Within the attraction, guests set out to explore 25,000
square feet of high-scream, high-startle environments across three
separate areas in the dark factory basement. Adults only. Now through
Trinity Memorial Church needs donations to help with Free Food Bag Program
Memorial Church at 22nd & Spruce Street is distributing two free
bags of groceries per household to anyone who is having food insecurity.
No questions asked; advance reservations required. This food
distribution program is accessible to neighborhood residents who do not
have cars, and it has been a lifeline to seniors, families, children,
and laid-off and unemployed workers. Groceries are distributed in the
afternoon on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month. For people
who are unable to pick up at Trinity due to a disability or illness,
volunteers will try to deliver. Trinity gets donated groceries from a
hub in Northeast Philadelphia. Financial donations are needed to purchase supplemental food such as eggs and fresh produce and to pay for drivers.
Would you please support our local merchants and save money too? These local merchants will provide a deal or discount to any member who shows a current CCRA membership card and personal identification.