Oxford Mills Urban Oasis Grand Opening

Abandoned dye works has been transformed into a hub for Philadelphia’s education community.


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.

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HughE Dillon covers parties, events and more for Philadelphia magazine’s The Scene. You can follow him on Twitter at @iPhillyChitChat and visit his daily online social diary PhillyChitChat.com.

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  • hostdive

    What does TFA sell? Bologna?

  • veteran school nurse

    I cannot imagine working under conditions like this. Particularly as an at will employee in a non unionized teaching job. If my housing is dependent on my employer, what happens if I learn I am “not invited back” to my teaching job in June? Am I permitted to remain in my apartment or does this benevolent arrangement render me both jobless and homeless? I imagine TFA wouldn’t want depressed, unemployed residents upsetting the applecart at this “hub for the educational community.”
    As far as Paul Kinh’s comment that teachers jointly sit around venting about their day and “preparing for the future” together. What kind of a future are we talking about?No job security, no due process protection. No security even at home. No thanks.

  • Susan

    This is a joke, right?

  • Therlo Hughes

    Coming to Newark, NJ soon, “teachers village” exclusively for the most elite of elite teachers, those TFAers. God bless America, where this malarky is sold lock, stock and barrel. Shame on Wendy Kopp, Obama, Duncan, Rhee, Broad, Koch, Gates. Welcome to the new normal. Up is down, down is up.