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Tag Archives | Mifflin

What's Happening in:  East Passyunk Crossing :  Pennsport 

Bok High and Vare Elementary are closing, so does that eventually lead to condos or blight?

Bok Technical High at 9th and Mifflin will be one of 37 schools around the city that the Philadelphia school district is closing, according to an Inquirer report today. Smith elementary at 19th and Wharton is also slated to be shuttered, but for our purposes, we’re most interested in what’s going to happen to the hulking, stone Bok on the edge of East Passyunk Crossing’s boundaries.

Looming over Mifflin Street, at its most littered – photo from Hidden City

Update: Perhaps an even bigger prize (residentially speaking) would be Vare Elementary at Moyamensing and Morris, directly across the street from the newly refurbished Dickinson Square Park. We missed the news about Vare’s closure at first because the program will remain, but move into the George Washington Elementary building at 5th and Federal.

With all the interest in converting former schools in South Philly to condos – Wharton Street Lofts, possibly Sacred Heart in Pennsport – you can’t help but wonder if some creative developer can come in and turn this monster into a residential building:

Bok would be a challenging renovation for residential, given the disproportionate first floor and the building’s historical designation. There’s also a massive auditorium that who knows what they could do with.

Bok’s auditorium. Looks like the one from the movie “Lean on Me.” Thanks to Ethan Schwartz for the picĀ 

On the other hand, federal and state funding could be available for the reuse of a historic building. And the bulk of the school would make great apartments for an influx of several dozen (hundred?) residents that could spread the East Passyunk boom toward the trash-strewn 7th Street corridor. The last thing we need is a gargantuan empty building dragging that part of the neighborhood down.

And with Vare, surely that parkside location will be snatched up for apartments, right?

Sure, we’re getting ahead of ourselves since the places aren’t even closed yet, but what do ya’ll think? Are these good candidates for condo conversion?


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What's Happening in:  East Passyunk Crossing 

When will Artisan Boulanger finally start work on new space?

The owners of Artisan Boulanger at 12th and Morris are waiting on one last inspection before they finally start work on their new location two blocks away at 1218 Mifflin Street. After months of delays, Andrea Eap told us yesterday that she has been trying every day for more than a week to get a health inspector to do the preliminary check that will clear the way for construction.

The new digs, eventually. Forgive the glare – picture of a picture

Eap, who has owned the joint with husband Andre Chin for 21 years, said there’s no way to schedule the inspection. “This morning I was so mad when I left the office,” Eap told us yesterday. “I said is there anyone who can call me or give me a date when we can start?”

No. She just has to keep trying and hope the inspector is in the office, she said.

This final hurdle is the latest in months of delays for the move, which was announced this summer after a rent increase forced them out. Eap said it took four to five months to get the construction permits, then their first contractor pulled out because of delays. It took another six weeks to get the name of the new contractor put onto the permits.

“I keep paying rent there, rent here. It’s making me so frustrated right now,” she said.

The old spot, which awaits a star-chef treatment

They thought they’d open in the new location in August, which apparently made Philly mag think they had already moved. Their best of Philly issue came out in the end of July listing the bakery at the Mifflin Street address.

Once they finally do get moving, Artisan will offer more than just the breads and pastries that made them famous. They’ll expand their menu to include soups, sandwiches, more pastries and even sushi, Andre told Eater Philly. And after they move out of the old Morris Street corner, that will make way for a new casual Italian bistro by Chris Scarduzio, owner of frou-frou Table 31 in the Comcast Center.

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