Carpenter Square development, School District sets prices for 12 schools as audit reveals trouble, PHA built without variance, strange slabs on Front Street, Divine Lorraine in pictures

In Southwest Center City, a neighborhood under near-constant construction, the planned Carpenter Square development will transform the neighborhood’s largest piece of vacant land. Last week City Council approved a Redevelopment Authority contract with Carpenter Square LP, a highly local development partnership, to build the 17-unit development at 17th and Carpenter streets. PlanPhilly’s Jared Brey looks at the development plans and neighborhood context.

The Philadelphia School District has set its asking prices for 12 surplus schools, the Notebook/NewsWorks reports. The old West Philly High at 47th and Walnut is the priciest at $6.5 million, while Clemente Middle School or Willard Elementary in Kensington could be scooped up for $250,000 apiece. The asking prices are part of a Request for Qualifications for interested buyers, due on February 21. This news came as City Controller Alan Butkovitz released a troubling financial audit of the District.

Did PHA build new housing that it will now have to demolish? Last year PHA went ahead and built housing at 20th and Carpenter, despite an ongoing legal dispute over the development’s zoning variance. PHA had appealed a court decision overturning their variance, but that appeal was abruptly dropped this week. Naked Philly has the story and wonders what will become of the unfortunate buildings.

Why have slabs of curb been sitting along Front Street for a year? City Howl looked into the strange slabs and found that they’re part of the long-running sidewalk accessibility project in Society Hill. Devoted PlanPhilly readers will recall Kellie Patrick Gates’ reporting on the sidewalk project.

Hidden City Daily put together a three-photographer show of the Divine Lorraine before it was gutted, showing off the once-vibrant interiors.


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