The developer who is set to buy the former Childs School at 17th and Tasker streets plans to turn the building into apartments, with a mix of affordable and market-rate housing.
Metal Ventures’ purchase of the vacant school was approved last month by the School Reform Commission. The company proposes rehabbing the existing structure and building an annex on part of the adjacent lot, said Thomas Mosher, spokesman for Councilman Kenyatta Johnson, who has been involved with the sale process for more than a year.
Metal Ventures will build 72 market rate units and 12 affordable units and plans to include about 51 parking spaces on a surface lot, Mosher said.
“The School District was selling the building through a community process and it was stalled,” Mosher said. “Ultimately, the councilman worked through several stakeholder meetings as well as a well-attended public meeting and this was the plan that came through as the most supported by all parties involved.”
Mosher noted that the project stills need to go through the process of permitting and zoning, as well as the community meetings and resulting public input that go along with it.
“The councilman will work with the surrounding community to ensure that project stays in line with their expectations, and that the developer continues to listen to and work with the community groups in the area,” Mosher said.
The finished project would include a community room that will be accessible by the public by request, and at dedicated times for designated community organizations. Metal Ventures also will provide an annual contribution to the new Childs Elementary School, at 1599 Wharton St., as a way to give back to the surrounding community, Mosher said.
A rep from the Newbold Neighbors Association said that community members’ input was well-received by Johnson and the developer at a community meeting in January. “The Councilman’s office and the developer promised that the plans will evolve as the zoning process takes shape and that more community input will be solicited along the way,” the NNA told us in an email.
So, folks, what do you think? A good plan for this building?