March 21: School District property sells for $37M | Building collapse site donated to city | Fear of looming SEPTA strike | Fabric Row facelift | Kelly Drive detour

Good morning and happy Friday, Streeters!

The School Reform Commission approved the sale of six vacant properties, most of them schools that closed in the last two years. The properties will be sold for $37 million, and the School District will net $25.8 million from the sale. The District hopes to bring in $61 million from property sales this year. 

Mayor Nutter announced yesterday that Salvation Army will donate the site of last summer’s fatal building collapse to the City of Philadelphia for a park and memorial. The 2,445 square foot parcel is at the corner of 22nd and Market streets and will be turned into a memorial park at no cost to the city. Brandywine Realty Trust will manage design and construction, and so far the group has raised $50,000 toward the project. They hope to raise $250,000 by June 5. 

SEPTA may have avoided an immediate strike by union workers who operate the city buses, trolleys and subways, but there is still fear that a SEPTA workers strike could happen later this year when the contracts for both regional rail engineers and suburban operators and mechanics expire. With all of these contracts set to expire in a relatively small window, union strikes could potentially shut down the entire transit system for the first time ever. 

A facelift is coming to Fabric Row sometime in the near future. The historic strip has seen new activity with an influx of boutiques, spas, coffee shops and stores popping up. This week the Community Design Collaborative unveiled initial designs for the Streetscape and Facade Improvement of Fabric Row, which calls for things like better lighting, park benches, trees, trash cans and building facade improvements. 

Kelly Drive will be closed in both directions this Saturday for tree work between Fountain Green Drive and South Ferry Road. The work will take place from 7am to 3pm. 

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