The Concordia Group has been working to buy some of the city’s shuttered schools, including Point Breeze’s Walter Smith School and the Vare School in Pennsport. The schools first went up for sale in 2013.
The developer’s plans for Walter Smith include converting the location for residential use. Residents have been resistant of the plans in the past, but a tentative agreement has now been reached with the Point Breeze CDC to begin moving the process forward. This agreement would require the development of the Walter Smith School at 19th and Wharton to include space for the use of the community.
Under the proposed agreement, which also includes other concessions, neighborhood activists would drop their objections to the sale of the building at 1300 S. 19th St. to Concordia Group. The dispute has held up Concordia’s $6.8 million purchase of the property and four other shuttered classroom buildings from the School District of Philadelphia.
The deal, negotiated by leaders of the Point Breeze Community Development Coalition, still must be approved by a larger group of residents, who will vote during a meeting July 28, according to Deborah Cianfrani, a lawyer for the community group.