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:
Year built: 1903
Lot size: 42,850 sq. ft.
Building footprint: 19,424 sq. ft.
Building size: 54,000 sq. ft.
No. of stories: 3
Asking Price: $2.5 million
Our take: Located across the street from Dickinson Square Park, this is by far the most desirable of the three. Residential construction in the area is booming, and a budding commercial community would love the new customers. Expect some noise about parking, though.
Year built: 1925
Lot size: 50,421 sq. ft.
Building footprint: 22,022 sq. ft.
Building size: 64,449 sq. ft.
No. of stories: 3
Asking Price: $3 million
Our take: This building is only about a block from two big proposed developments, so the appetite to develop this area is there. But those two projects got a lot of push-back ahead of a recent meeting, including a flier that claimed 300 residents with pit bulls would be moving in. We’d be surprised if this turns out to be a conversion to 100 percent market-rate apartments. Maybe senior housing? Or at least a mix of affordable and market-rate like what’s being proposed for the former Childs school at 17th and Tasker?
Year built: 1938
Lot size: 97,985 sq. ft.
Building footprint: 78,967 sq. ft.
Building size: 338,000 sq. ft.
No. of stories: 8
Asking Price: $1.7 million
Our take: This one is a long-shot. The building needs $55 million in structural repairs and its heating system is attached to Southwark Elementary’s across the street. Without significant public assistance, we’d be surprised if this doesn’t sit vacant for another five years, despite its location between two booming neighborhoods.
So, which one do you think will go first? Are we way off?