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Streamlined Sales Process for Vacant Schools, But Who Will Buy?

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Yesterday, Mayor Nutter announced a finalized process for selling schools. The plan is is similar to the original proposal for offloading the properties, but it does cut out the "community advisory boards initially discussed. The plan also seems to draw inspiration from Penn Design's suggestions, though no kombucha breweries have been announced as of yet.

The plan will, just as the Penn Design report suggested, divide the school buildings into three categories: those that are likely to be highly desirable to developers, those that might receive offers from developers, but that might also serve community organizations or other city departments well, and those that are basically unlikely to receive many offers.

The first group, the highly desirable school properties, will become the subjects of Requests for Qualification (RFQs), which require developers to submit site plans, offer prices, and other pertinent information. The middle tier of properties will become the subjects of Requests for Proposals, (RFPs), which are similar to RFQs, but are mostly solicitations for ideas and proposals. The final group will be available for both RFPs and other sorts of movement, (such as being sold as part of a portfolio of properties).

Though this streamlined plan might be likelier to convey schools quickly, it also involves significantly less community involvement than the original proposed plan, which would have included input not only from Registered Community Organizations, but also individual community members. This new process will involve RCO's in the selling of top tier properties, but that appears to be the extent of community input for those sales. There's also discussion of community input for middle and bottom tier properties, but it looks much less formal.
· Nutter administration announces reuse plan for closed schools [Plan Philly]
· How To Buy a Vacant School Building [NBC Philly]