This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.
by Elizabeth Fiedler for NewsWorks
The city of Philadelphia and its cash-strapped School District are joining forces to sell some shuttered school buildings. The new partnership is moving forward now that the School Reform Commission has approved a policy to repurpose some of the city’s defunct schools. Under the new policy, the most marketable properties will be identified and fast-tracked for sale. That could help generate money to help close the District’s massive budget gap.
Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Alan Greenberger said the plan will be good for neighborhoods that are home to the shuttered buildings. "In our discussions with the District, we’ve recognized that there are probably a handful of properties for which there has been significant interest expressed and which we would like to put out into the marketplace quickly, try to come to transactions quickly," he said.
Greenberger said he expects "conditions of sale" will be placed on each building. They could restrict what the building can be used for and how quickly it must be re-occupied. Those conditions will probably vary from building to building.