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2 Mar 2014

School District announces selection of four potential buyers for closed schools in Philadelphia

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March 2, 2014 Category: Local Posted by:


The School District of Philadelphia announced today it has selected four potential buyers with whom it will negotiate Agreements of Sale for several school facilities that closed in 2012 and 2013. The schools and their respective potential buyers are as follow:

Anna Shaw Middle School (Southwest Philadelphia)

5400 Warrington Avenue

Selected purchase offer:  Mastery Charter School

Proposed use: educational


Alexander Wilson Elementary School (West Shore, Southwest Philadelphia)

1300 S. 46th Street

Selected purchase offer:  Orens Brothers Real Estate, Inc.

Proposed use: mixed use – retail and residential


Stephen Douglas High School (Port Richmond)

2700 E. Huntingdon Street

Selected purchase offer:  Maritime Academy Charter School

Proposed use: educational


University City High School, Charles Drew Elementary School, and The Walnut Center (Powelton, University City)

3601 Filbert Street

Selected purchase offer:  Drexel University Development, LLC

(A joint venture of Drexel University and Wexford Science & Technology, LLC)

Proposed use: mixed use – residential, retail, lab/office, educational


The total value of the selected offers for the four properties announced today is nearly $35 million.  The net profit for the School District, after deducting all fees and defeasance of bonds related to these schools, is estimated at approximately $25 million.

“We are pleased to announce the selection of these potential buyers that plan to repurpose the school buildings that have become vacant since closing their doors,” said Dr. William R. Hite, Superintendent. “Once approved, the sale of these facilities will generate one-time funds for the School District and provide the City with opportunities for redevelopment.  We will continue to pursue property repurposing under the District’s Adaptive Sale and Reuse policy.”

The District closed the schools in 2012 and 2013. The selected buyers are the result of the District’s competitive process to solicit purchase offers that began in November of last year after it issued a series of Request for Qualifications for purchasers of these schools. A total of 20 responses were received for the five initial sites, each of which received multiple purchase offers.  The School District is also currently considering a sale of the former William Harrison Elementary School building which closed in June 2012.

The School District established an Advisory Committee comprised of representatives from the School District, the City of Philadelphia, Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation, and the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority to review the offers and make a recommendation to the District. The School District employed the help of the Binswanger Company to review financial capacity of respondents and provide expert advice to process and recommendations.  Based on its review of the proposals submitted, the Advisory Committee established a short-list of proposers which were interviewed in early February.  The School District also held a series of community meetings in the neighborhoods where the closed schools are located to provide information on the school sales process to residents.

Pending negotiation of the Agreements, the four proposals will be presented to the School Reform Commission on March 20th for its final review and authorization. SRC approval will enable the sale of these properties to occur in June of this year.

For more information, visit

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