What to Do With 1200 Chestnut Street?

Over a year ago, we told you about 1200 Bank, a plan to convert the former Beneficial Savings Fund headquarters at 1200 Chesnut St. into a billiard hall plus restaurant plus bar plus rooftop deck/lounge extravaganza. This project seemed excellent and exciting, and would have been a tremendous shot in the arm for Market East, bringing new life and energy to a weak part of Chestnut Street. Unfortunately, the project was apparently brought down by NIMBY efforts from neighbors in the nearby White Building, primarily due to noise concerns from the proposed roof deck.

Loud deck
Building today

And so this gorgeous building, designed by Horace Trumbauer,¬†continues to sit vacant as it has since the bank moved out in 2001. According to listing agents MS Fox Real Estate Group, the building, which was purchased by its current owners back in 2006 for nearly $3M, is available for lease at an affordable $200K/year, triple net. Which, of course, begs the question, what is name of all that is holy can possibly come into this property at something that resembles the asking price, that will do the kind of business that’s needed to meet the rent and won’t be tossed aside by the neighbors who like the neighborhood just the way it is?

Never change, buddy. White building on the left.

We honestly don’t have any bright ideas in particular, but were hoping y’all could help us come up with something. Stephen Starr, do you read Naked Philly? Jose Garces? Donald Trump? Queen of England?

It’s just such a shame that this wonderful building will, in all likelihood, remain vacant for the foreseeable future. Hey, at least the owners are current on their $60K/year property taxes! Oy.