The sales of the shuttered Bok, Vare and Smith schools were approved last night to developers with track records for luxury development. The sales of the three schools, as well as eight others in the city, were green-lighted in a unanimous vote at a School Reform Commission meeting.
Bok, at 9th and Mifflin streets, is being sold for the proposed sale price of $2.1 million to Scannapieco Development, which built the 1706 Rittenhouse skyscraper of full-floor residences. This 14th floor unit, for instance, was purchased for $4.7 million last year. Scannapieco also plans another ultraluxury building at 5th and Walnut streets that will overlook Independence Mall.
(UPDATE: The sale was actually to Scout Ltd., LLC, which is managed by Lindsey Scannapieco, the daughter of that developer, who plans a mixed-use arts-based project. Details to follow soon.)
Vare, at Moyamensing and Morris, and Smith, 19th and Wharton, were sold to the Concordia Group as part of a five-school package for $6.8 million, according to The Notebook. The Washington-based builder specializes in multiunit townhome developments and new mixed-use projects. The company’s website says it also serves as a property broker that facilitates sales to other developers, which seems to be the more likely scenario given their history.
Speaking of history, it could be a lesson for at least one of these sales. Back in March, the SRC approved the sale of the old home of Childs Elementary at 17th and Tasker to Metal Ventures. That developer plans 72 market-rate units and 12 affordable units plus about 51 parking spaces.
However, past is not necessarliy present or future. So, here are a couple things to note:
Green: PIDC is selling schools because City Council "insisted" they do. #PHLed
— Kristen Graham (@newskag) September 18, 2014
Burns: Many props will require zoning change thus requiring engagement w community. #phled
— Solomon Leach (@ChroniclesofSol) September 18, 2014
Even with the approvals, it will be a while before you start seeing politicians line up with ceremonial groundbreaking shovels. But in the meantime, what do you think?