Daughter of luxury Rittenhouse high-rise developer has big plans for Bok; Vare & Smith sales also approved

UPDATE: Bok was sold to a company run by the daughter of the luxury developer mentioned in this post. Click here for details of the mixed-use plan.

The sales of the shuttered Bok, Vare and Smith schools were approved last night to developers with track records for luxury development. The sales of the three schools, as well as eight others in the city, were green-lighted in a unanimous vote at a School Reform Commission meeting.

Bok High. Pic by Bradley Maule via Hidden City
Bok High. Pic by Bradley Maule via Hidden City

Bok, at 9th and Mifflin streets, is being sold for the proposed sale price of $2.1 million to Scannapieco Development, which built the 1706 Rittenhouse skyscraper of full-floor residences. This 14th floor unit, for instance, was purchased for $4.7 million last year. Scannapieco also plans another ultraluxury building at 5th and Walnut streets that will overlook Independence Mall.

(UPDATE: The sale was actually to Scout Ltd., LLC, which is managed by Lindsey Scannapieco, the daughter of that developer, who plans a mixed-use arts-based project. Details to follow soon.)

The rendering of Scannapieco's 500 Walnut proposal, which certainly isn't likely or desirable at the Bok site.  That's just for a frame of reference.
The rendering of Scannapieco’s 500 Walnut proposal, which certainly isn’t likely or desirable at the Bok site. That’s just for a frame of reference.

Vare, at Moyamensing and Morris, and Smith, 19th and Wharton, were sold to the Concordia Group as part of a five-school package for $6.8 million, according to The Notebook. The Washington-based builder specializes in multiunit townhome developments and new mixed-use projects. The company’s website says it also serves as a property broker that facilitates sales to other developers, which seems to be the more likely scenario given their history.

vare school
Vare at Moyamensing and Morris
Smith at 19th and Wharton
Smith at 19th and Wharton

Speaking of history, it could be a lesson for at least one of these sales. Back in March, the SRC approved the sale of the old home of Childs Elementary at 17th and Tasker to Metal Ventures. That developer plans 72 market-rate units and 12 affordable units plus about 51 parking spaces.

However, past is not necessarliy present or future. So, here are a couple things to note:

Even with the approvals, it will be a while before you start seeing politicians line up with ceremonial groundbreaking shovels. But in the meantime, what do you think?

19 thoughts on “Daughter of luxury Rittenhouse high-rise developer has big plans for Bok; Vare & Smith sales also approved

  • September 19, 2014 at 9:42 am

    The first moron who mentions “parking” gets kicked in the crotch and punched in the face.

    • September 19, 2014 at 11:05 am

      hahaha. You know its coming, better get your steel-toed boots ready.

  • September 19, 2014 at 9:55 am

    The original structure has so much character – I hope they can preserve it in whole or in part. Curious to see if this turns into condos, townhouses, or mixed use. Tons of options in that space. Could even keep the auditorium as a local theatre.

  • September 19, 2014 at 10:27 am

    As a homeowner near Bok (closer to 9th and Morris), I’m definitely interested to see what they plan and how it will impact the neighborhood and property value. The building does have a lot of character, so hopefully they do try to incorporate some of the architecture into the new development.

    • September 19, 2014 at 10:53 am

      @Aaron- they sold it for what it for market value. Take an econ course. Sure the city could have asked for more, let it sit for 20 years, and wait for it to eventually burn.

    • September 19, 2014 at 1:50 pm

      These are old, run-down buildings that will require millions in refitting and rehabbing. $2-4M per building is a perfectly reasonable price.

  • September 19, 2014 at 10:47 am

    I am glad to see that the properties will be used and not remain vacant, but I am surprised at how little money the city is getting for these properties.

  • September 19, 2014 at 11:28 am

    Given that most (if not all, I didn’t search specifically just now) of these are already listed on the National Register of Historic Places, they would make great tax credit projects! The buildings will be preserved, and we’ll hopefully get more rental housing stock.

    • September 19, 2014 at 4:14 pm

      Thank you for posting this. I’m on it but haven’t gotten the time to get the post together

  • September 19, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    My house is right across the street from BOK, so AnthonyB I’m the first moron to mention parking. Just try and kick me in the crotch or punch me in the face . You’ll get your cheeks ripped off first. Who are all these people parking on BOKS sidewalk every night now. I’ve always suspected the maintenance crews are running illegal gambling in there. Poker? Game cocks? WTF?

  • September 22, 2014 at 9:09 am

    @Merilyn, yes, poker & cock fights. They’re also running a meth lab in the basement and a brothel on the top floor (but you knew that part).

    Yes, whine about parking. I’m sure you’d be much happier liiving next to burnt-out crack den. It would make for a shorter walk.

    • September 23, 2014 at 8:13 am

      Best. Response. Ever.

    • September 28, 2014 at 12:44 am

      As a journalist and woman, I must often be out working late at night Anthony(Asshole)G, so yeah, not having to park five blocks away after midnight is important to me. why are you such a selfish creep? Have you no notion of other people’s needs?

      • September 29, 2014 at 9:22 am

        You realize your entire point is moot – they are planning underground parking. Also, mass transit in our area is pretty decent…..

      • October 2, 2014 at 10:00 pm

        You live in the middle of the 5th largest city in the US and you really think you’ll continue to have parking in front of your house? It’s a public asset, you have no claim over it. If convenient parking is a requirement for you, there are vast swaths of the city with off street parking (Northeast, West Oak Lane, Overbrook, Roxborough, etc.) that might better suit your needs.

  • September 29, 2014 at 8:33 am

    Come on Merilyn, we all know why your out working late…

    Selfish… hmmm… why do you feel so ENTITLED to a parking spot??

Comments are closed.