CBS 3 reports: “Mayor Michael Nutter says he’s still somewhat in the dark over Council President Darrell Clarke’s plan to send $50-million to the school district in exchange for the right to sell some vacant district buildings. Nutter wants to know who’s interested in buying them.” Clarke has said 11 developers are interested in buying the buildings.
“I would say that it would help further the process — for both us and the school district — if there are legitimate expressions of interest, or these letters of interest, whoever they are and whatever they might say, is helpful, would be helpful in the process,” said Mayor Nutter. “So we’ll see. At some point in time, they may forward them to us.”Judge for yourself, of course, whether this incident indicates something about the mayor’s relative strength or weakness of relationships with the Council. In any case, the Daily News adds: “The level of interest in the properties is key because Nutter has questioned whether reselling the portfolio will actually retrieve $50 million for the city. A recent study by Pew Charitable Trusts showed that selling empty school buildings has been difficult for other cities and that the properties often go for much less than expected.” If sold, the money would be sent back to the Philadelphia School District to help make up for that agency’s budget shortcomings.