Plans for the former Bok Technical School include live-work residences, art studios, ground-floor retail & “could include rooftop cinema and outdoor beer terraces.”
The sale of the school was approved Thursday night to Scout Ltd. LLC, which is run by Lindsey Scannapieco, the daughter of ultra-luxury Philadelphia developer Tom Scannapieco (so our last post about this was admittedly a bit off).
Scout envisions “a creative anchor for the burgeoning East Passyunk neighborhood featuring studios and live-work space for the maker community,” according to a news release, which noted ”plans to revive the 340,000 sqft space back to life as a center for design, entrepreneurship and fabrication.”
So what does all that mean in practical terms? The eight-story building, built in 1938, could end up becoming a major anchor for the neighborhood. The project will unfold in phases but the release notes that part of the plan is providing “immediate activation” of the site through temporary artistic uses. The site buildingbok.com notes that they are soliciting input from artists and makers with ideas to make that happen.
Also of note:
The project proposes subterranean parking to ensure no further pressure on the current parking-constrained streets of South Philadelphia. The first phase of the project will focus on creating the parking system and activating the ground floor with innovative tenants.
Tapping into her extensive international experience working on vacant space activation and community engagement, Scannapieco aspires to energize the site through a series of temporary, artistic uses that serves to revive the space. Local artists will be invited to help ignite small-scale activity back into the monumental building, creating engaging, playful and educational experiences.
“EPX, as the RCO for the neighborhood, is looking forward to engaging the community as the project progresses,” said Joseph F. Marino, co-chair of the board of directors of the East Passyunk Crossing Civic Association. “The initial ideas, broached with the EPX board co-chairs and zoning chair, seem to have great deal of promise for the neighborhood.”
Scannapieco recently relocated to Philadelphia from London, where she has experience repurposing underused vacant sites for temporary uses. This would be Scout’s first development project, but with a little advising from her father’s development company, she may very well be able to pull this thing off.
So, what do you think?