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Tag Archives | Vare

What's Happening in:  Pennsport 

Concordia Group proposes apartments, townhomes for shuttered Vare School

We’ve been following the sales of the shuttered Bok, Vare and Smith schools for a while now. The Bok School is set to become a huge mixed-use space, but the plans for the other two schools haven’t been as quick to come through.

vare school

According to PhillyMag, the Concordia Group, who are also behind the proposed development that will replace Mt. Sinai, now has plans to develop Abigail Vare Elementary at 1619 E. Moyamensing Ave. into 45 apartments in the former school and six new townhomes behind the school.

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What's Happening in:  East Passyunk Crossing :  Pennsport :  Point Breeze 

Daughter of luxury Rittenhouse high-rise developer has big plans for Bok; Vare & Smith sales also approved

UPDATE: Bok was sold to a company run by the daughter of the luxury developer mentioned in this post. Click here for details of the mixed-use plan.


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 High. Pic by Bradley Maule via Hidden City

Bok High. Pic by Bradley Maule via Hidden City

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.)

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What's Happening in:  East Passyunk Crossing :  Pennsport 

Bok and Vare schools listed as having ‘pending’ sales

The official school district website that was set up to unload several shuttered buildings lists Bok High School and Vare Elementary as having “pending” sales.

We don’t know yet what the proposals entail, and it turns out that the designation may not be entirely accurate.

Bok High. Pic by Bradley Maule via Hidden City

Bok High. Pic by Bradley Maule via Hidden City

vare school

Sources tell us that, in the case of Bok, at least, the school district received several offers after it hosted open houses for developers in May. Bok and its 338,000 square feet, at 9th and Mifflin, were listed for $1.7 million, and Vare’s parkside 54,000 square feet was listed for $2.5 million.

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What's Happening in:  East Passyunk Crossing :  Pennsport :  Point Breeze 

3 S. Philly school buildings on possible path to redevelopment as city announces open houses

Are you a developer with a sense of adventure? Then this kind of open house is for you.

The city has announced that it will hold open houses for 20 shuttered school buildings in the next month, and on the list are Bok High in East Passyunk Crossing, Vare Elementary in Pennsport and Walter Smith Elementary in Point Breeze.

The open houses, which you must register for by RSVPing here, start next weekend. The first at Smith, at 19th and Wharton on May 19. The following day, developers will head to Vare, 1619 E. Moyamensing Ave.  Then on May 29, Bok, an eight-story monster hulking over 9th and Mifflin, gets its turn.

Here are the specs on each of the buildings, listed in what we believe will be the order of interest of developers looking for apartment conversions:

1) Vare

vare school

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What's Happening in:  East Passyunk Crossing :  Pennsport :  Point Breeze 

Wanna buy a few school buildings? Vare, Bok, Smith are officially on the market

The Philadelphia School District has officially listed more than two dozen shuttered school buildings, including three in hot, development-ready areas of South Philly: Bok Technical at 9th and Mifflin, Vare Elementary at Moyamensing and Morris and Smith Elementary at 19th and Wharton.

None of the buildings came tagged with a specific price tag, and sale notice from the district is actually a request for a formal “expression of interest.”

Bok High. Pic by Bradley Maule via Hidden City

Bok High. Pic by Bradley Maule via Hidden City

Bok Technical, an imposing art deco monster,  is 338,000 square feet over eight floors on a 2.2-acre site. The information provided notes its proximity to Passyunk Avenue and the Snyder Avenue subway stop (about half a mile each). “Surrounding the Avenue is a surging residential and development market.” True.

City records peg the market value at $17.8 million. A wee high?

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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 pic 

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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