PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Plans for construction of a medical office tower in center city by Penn Health System got an initial okay today in Philadelphia City Council, despite concerns voiced by nearby Jefferson University.

Planned for the corner of 8th and Walnut Streets is a 12-story office building, to be built on top of an existing parking garage and to be rented entirely for medical offices by the University of Pennsylvania Health System (see previous story).

At a committee hearing, though, attorney Carl Primavera — representing neighboring Jefferson University Hospital — said Jefferson is concerned about parking and about confusion among HUP, Jefferson, and Wills Eye Hospital patients.

“Because now we have three hospitals in the same neighborhood, we want to make sure that people going to one know where to park, they don’t end up being in the wrong place at the wrong time,” he told councilmembers.

Nevertheless, the committee okayed zoning changes for the project, but a final Council vote will not come until further meetings involving Jefferson and the developer.

Reported by KYW City Hall Bureau chief Mike Dunn

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