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Former Point Breeze Elementary School To Be Converted Into Multifamily

The Walter G. Smith School in Point Breeze, closed since 2013

A former elementary school in Point Breeze will be converted into apartments, ending a period of uncertainty over the building.

The Walter G. Smith School at the corner of 19th and Wharton closed in 2013 as part of a citywide rash of closures, and developer Ori Feibush plans to convert the building into apartments, with additional buildings to be constructed in the rear lot. Feibush also plans to include a community center in the development, Curbed Philly reports.

Soon after the school's closure, the building was bought by the Maryland-based Concordia Group. But a wave of community activism from locals attempting to get a school to reopen in the building caused Concordia to back off its plans, and it sold the property to Feibush.

In a post on Facebook, Feibush announced his plans and countered the pro-school message by claiming the local public schools were operating far below capacity, and needed better public support rather than a charter school to further weaken them.

The property is already zoned for multifamily purposes, and Feibush plans to develop the parcel by right.