Updated Bok School plans presented for zoning district remapping

At last night’s East Passyunk Crossing Civic Association meeting at Neumann-Goretti High School, plans were presented to remap the Bok School, located at 1901 S. 9th St., to IRMX, which is a new zoning district that allows for a mix of residential, commercial, artisan and low-impact industrial use.

Edward Bok Technical High School, via Wikipedia
Edward Bok Technical High School, via Wikipedia

Currently Bok is zoned as RSA-5, which is the zoning for a single-family home. With 340,000 sq. ft. of space, that would be one mansion of a single-family home.

Lindsey Scannapieco, the project’s developer, was at the meeting to present updated plans on the project, including information about potential tenants of the property, financing and an updated look at the parking situation for the building.

From the start, the plans for the development of this property involved various tenants, from retail to maker space. Scannapieco hopes to be able to use the building’s existing facilities, like a culinary kitchen and science labs and fill them with tenants whose needs involve such facilities.

Scannapieco says that she has been in talk with many interested businesses and individuals who would like to use the space. Some examples given at the meeting included digital agency, caterer, coffee roaster and café, craft brewery, textile artist, an accredited university, urban farms and more.

Originally plans for the upper floors of the building included affordable rental units, but Scannapieco says that at this time, that’s no longer in the plans. If this remapping process goes through as needed for this location, the entire facility will be filled with tenants who will use this as a maker space in various different ways.

One of the major concerns from residents at the meeting was regarding the facility’s parking. Although Scannapieco says that the target market for a facility like this largely would not be driving to the location, current plans are hoping to be able to create about 100 parking spaces in the basement level of the Bok School. To be able to do this, columns will have to be removed from the basement’s structure. The current plans would have space for about 100 cars, a car share and bike parking in the basement.

As you might have seen, the project has also received a grant to remake the grounds surrounding the school into a “South Philly Stoop.” While that grant will help fund improvements surrounding the school, some questioned how this facility will be funded. Scannapieco says that it will be financed through new market tax credits, historic tax credits, the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation, energy loans and other means.

Based on the plans presented for the Bok School by Scannapieco, the majority of neighbors attending the meeting voted in favor of the remapping of the facility to IRMX. 

Did you miss last night’s meeting? You can find the presentations with more information about IRMX and the Bok School plans here.

What do you think of these updated plans?

15 thoughts on “Updated Bok School plans presented for zoning district remapping

  • April 9, 2015 at 2:53 pm

    As a nearby resident, I hope some of my neighbors worried about parking take a deep sigh of relief 😉

  • April 9, 2015 at 3:59 pm

    Initial rhetoric sounds publicly ok but It ain’t over until its over. Nothing is written in stone and every developer has fall back plans that are not public. They are trying this approach first –which I believe is sincere — but……

    340,000 feet has a lot of cost to carry under this unconventional leasing method – Insurance, real estate taxes(any?),utilities, repairs and maintenance, elevator(is there one?),payroll and debt service — all adds up — $5.00 to $10.00 a foot when done ( my accounting W.A.G.) . But, it seems there are plenty of governmental sources willing to fund aspects of this project. This is a good thing.

    But, I’m not taking a deep sigh of relief yet!

    The football is on the 5 yard line and they have 95 yards to go.

  • April 9, 2015 at 4:39 pm

    move to the damn suburbs you parking obsessed people.

    • April 10, 2015 at 5:16 pm

      @Tiny Tim — why would you get so mad at requesting enough parking. I’ve lived here all my life. I’m old enough to remember when you could play football and half-ball in the street. Calm down and think about it. We are all neighbors and should not be fighting each other. Unless you have something to gain by this development & possible traffic congestion then you shouldn’t attack anyone’s ideas. I don’t understand these flip remarks.

      Again, WHO CARES what goes there as long as it has adequate parking….. God bless them if they recreate Jerry’s Corner – ( if anyone remembers it — a hodge podge of businesses under one roof.)

      • April 11, 2015 at 4:31 pm

        how does encouraging more cars bring back the good old days when kids could play ball in the street?

        • April 13, 2015 at 4:54 pm

          @TINY TIM – did I say it will bring back good old days? Not I – its an impossibility. But not keeping parking in check will bring bad days!

          Are you just argumentative? Why would you not want wealthy developers to create enough parking from a project in our neighborhood which will make them millions in rent, grants & tax credits?

          – there are sides to this development — don’t accept a passive role!

          — why not care more about your quality of life!

        • April 14, 2015 at 6:14 pm

          Sales of autos have increased these past few years… Americans are buying more cars. Yeah yeah yeah… Shout at us about emerging trends of some segments who prefer bikes. I’m so tired of hearing wild eyed over-enthusiasts scream down their noses at others about how bicycles will save the world. It is cold and dark and there is often snow on the ground throughout the winter… I do NOT see that many people on bikes between Thanksgiving and Easter…

          And even if people use their bikes heavily… A lot of people moving here still come with a car that remains parked until they need to go out somewhere nice or out of town. Or if they need to show up to work not smelling like the street…

          I’m glad to see the expansion of bike use, public transportation, and Uber… But I hate how some people think that having concerns about parking means you’re some kind of old world stick in the mud.

          Keep fighting the good fight Paul.

          • April 15, 2015 at 3:07 pm

            @ProvWitout – Thank You!

            Maybe some people really don’t have any idea who’s side they should take.

            They seem to want the rich to get richer at our expense. They can afford 5 parking spaces per thousand feet developed.

            The developer is following in her family business. Her dad (“…pay no attention to the man behind the curtain….” ) is extremely wealthy and will either make her company a loan to build all the required spaces or, if all else fails, buy it from her company to make condos. Then we make the same request to him for enough parking.

            • April 15, 2015 at 3:30 pm

              aww… that is sweet… Paul gave Prov a reach-around!

              • April 16, 2015 at 10:01 pm

                Aww how nice! They allowed AnthonyG back on the comments page!

                He still has no life though… Pay him no mind Paul… He can’t have a back and forth like grownups debating pros and cons about stuff… He’s quick to sling insults when ya point out facts or legit concerns. He needs these comments pages to make him feel relevant. Just sit back and let him amuse you with his ineptness.

              • April 28, 2015 at 4:00 pm

                @AnthonyG — Rainbow nation, sweetheart. Sorry though, I don’t roll that way… (“…not that there anything wrong with that….” Seinfeld)

                @ProvWitout says your a “tool” … true?

  • April 10, 2015 at 1:06 pm

    I could care less about the parking lunatics, but I’m not quite sure I still have any idea what this is going to look like in reality (and I admit I was not at the meeting which may have been useful in that regard). It sounds like its still sort of in the initial brainstorming stage. “Maker spaces”? I assume that means “hipster mall”, or something. Accredited University…urban farm…private space travel…artisanal barrel factory…..etc

    • April 10, 2015 at 2:49 pm

      As indicated at the meeting, they are in DD phase of basement renovations and will produce CDs within what sounded like the next 8-10 weeks.

      They discussed space utilization, phasing, the implementation of their ideas using the approx. $150,000 dollar grant they just won from Knight Foundation.

      They also discussed potential tenants that they’re currently talking to. No names (which is typcial), but types of businesses were shared with desired space.

      It’s definitely more advanced than the brainstorming phase. Is it a slam dunk? No, not by a long shot, but a lot of work and thought has been put into this.

      Try to come out to meetings. They tend to be pretty helpful to hear whats going on.

  • April 10, 2015 at 2:54 pm

    Not included in the article above but mentioned in the presentation, is that the project will rely on traditional commercial financing as well.

  • April 16, 2015 at 10:10 pm

    We recognize that sales of autos have continued to rise despite continued trends of urbanization. This is why at our 3rd & Oregon location, we have added a second drive through lane! We hope the anti-parking people, thumping a well worn out copy of “The Secret”, show up to the meetings all wild eyed and crazy and make it so bad for people that their only option is to come eat our slop food. Parking Spaces and Duel Drive Through lanes await you! Unfortunatley our food will turn your insides…

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