Oxford Mills Urban Oasis Grand Opening


Oxford Mills, billed as an “urban oasis for teachers and nonprofits,” held its grand opening last week in South Kensington, another step in revitalizing the neighborhood. Oxford Mills was once a dye works factory. It was later abandoned and has now been transformed into a hub for Philadelphia’s education community. The project is a mixed-use real estate development designed to provide low-cost housing for teachers as well as commercial space for educational nonprofits.

Paul Kihn, deputy superintendent of the School District of Philadelphia, told the guests, “Oxford will be a great place for teachers to bond with other like-minded teachers, discuss curriculum, vent about their day, prepare for the future, and relax. … A development such as Oxford Mills will help attract good teachers to the city as well as retain the ones we already have.”

Oxford Mills was developed by Gabe Canuso and Greg Hill, D3 Real Estate Development, and a Baltimore company, Seawall Development Company, who had created a similar project called Miller’s Court in Baltimore. The complex has 114 apartments, with half of them earmarked for teachers who will rent them at a 25 percent discount. The retail includes Artwell, Education Plus, Interfaith Center for Greater Philadelphia, Teach for America, Grace and Glory Yoga, and Gryphon Coffee Company, which are available to the residents as well as the neighborhood.

Oxford Mills Urban Oasis Grand Opening »

Morning Headlines: Twenty Shuttered School Buildings To Be Listed for Immediate Sale

School District of Philadelphia

When it comes to the sale of shuttered school buildings, no one has been more about picking up the pace than City Council President Darrell Clarke. Last fall, the School District put up 28 buildings for sale on their website. Only 7 were listed as expedited sales and open to bidding; the rest were there to get “expressions of interest”. Needless to say, Clarke was not a fan of the slow-moving approach.

Now, however, the District is facing fiscal troubles once more and, as the Inquirer’s Troy Graham reports, appears to finally be taking Clarke’s advice. Twenty school buildings will be listed for immediate sale, one of which is North Broad’s William Penn High School, one of the schools that appeared on last year’s list. More from the Inquirer:
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The Philadelphia School District’s Unfortunate Hashtag: #phled

philadelphia school district hashtag phled

In a city that has smart parents fleeing in droves to the better, safer schools of the suburbs, this hashtag used by the School District of Philadelphia is probably ill-advised. Ah, homophony.

PSP Lobbied to Get Bill Green SRC Chairmanship

To convince state senators in Harrisburg (who voted to confirm him) that Democrat Bill Green was the man to lead the School Reform Commission, the influential Philadelphia School Partnership hired a high-profile lobbying firm, Wodjak and Associates. While it’s no surprise that Green is the sort of reform-minded, pro-charter candidate the PSP favors, this latest news suggests an ideological and political closeness between the two that may make some uncomfortable.

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Bill Green Confirmed as SRC Chair

The State Senate has confirmed at-large Councilman Bill Green as new School Reform Commission chair by a vote of 44-2. Philly’s Vincent Hughes and Chesco/Montco’s Andrew Dinniman dissented. Farah Jimenez, who leads a West Philly non-profit that addresses homelessness, was also confirmed as a new member of the five-person board.

[Daily News]

Morning Headlines: District Gets 20 Bids for Shuttered School Buildings

School District of Philadelphia

Photo credit: Jeff Fusco

Another lumbering step forward has been taken in the effort to raise budget money for the School District of Philadelphia. Since last year’s December 17th deadline, the District has received 20 offers for the 28 school buildings for sale, seven of which were “expedited sales” and open to individual bids.

Putting the abandoned buildings on the market and using the money to fill its budget gap has it proponents, but another deadline looms. As the Inquirer’s Troy Graham puts it:

To cover what the city pledged toward the district’s budget deficit, sales worth at least $61 million have to be completed by June 30. If not, the city would have to dip into its funds to make up the difference.

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WATCH: Diane Sawyer Heads Back to Strawberry Mansion High School

Since Diane Sawyer first visited Strawberry Mansion high school last May, Nightline reports, several positive developments have occurred. One, the school is no longer on the city’s “persistently dangerous” list. Two, for the first time ever, it’s got a football team. (Go Knights!). Here’s the video of Sawyer’s follow-up, which aired last night.

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