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 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?
The former Abigail Vare school has a lot going for it – burgeoning section of Pennsport right across from leafy Dickinson Square Park. It’s 54,000 square feet on a single acre. “The area surrounding Vare is rapidly filling-in with a number of small to medium private developments, mostly residential in nature,” the district says. “The neighborhood is witnessing an influx of new residents.” True.
City’s assessment: $4.3 million. Well, maybe.
Smith is surrounded by the buzz of construction noise, with infill housing and rehabs popping up all over, especially to the north and east. A couple blocks to the west, Point Breeze Avenue is finding new life and a 50-home development was recently proposed. “With excellent bus service and only one mile to Rittenhouse Square, Smith School is likely to receive significant interest from market rate housing developers,” the district says. “This presents an opportunity for future uses that can offer services or amenities from which all residents can benefit.” A bit rosy, but it’s always good to accentuate the positive, right?
Hmm, this one isn’t much bigger than Vare, with 64,000 square feet on 1.2 acres, but city records say this one is worth $6.5 million, and it’s not as nice an area. We’re going to guess: fat chance for getting that kind of money.
So, who wants to write a check?