Panel recommends selling former Schenley High to PMC for $5.2 million


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A review panel has recommended that the former Pittsburgh Schenley High School be sold to PMC/Schenley HSB Associates for $5.2 million, the highest of four bids made on the Oakland building.

PMC proposed spending $36.9 million for about 175 luxury apartments with a fitness center. The existing gym would be used, but potential uses for the pool and auditorium would be determined later.

In 2011, PMC Property Group of Philadelphia was the unsuccessful lone bidder for Schenley at $2 million. PMC entered the Downtown Pittsburgh market in 2010, and its work includes 201 Stanwix Place, a reuse of the former Verizon building, for apartments and a charter school.

The recommendation was released by Fourth River Development, which the school district hired as the agent to handle the marketing and bidding of Schenley.

The press release said that criteria considered included "price, commitment to community and district, time frame for development, limitation of risk, and the ability and capacity to complete proposed uses for the property."

In seeking bids, the school board reserved the right to reject any and all proposals. The board also last month voted to hire experts to determine the true cost of renovating Schenley as a district school.

The recommended developer is scheduled to present the plan to the public at 6 p.m. Feb. 18 at board headquarters.

The board will receive public comment at its regular hearing at 6 p.m. Feb. 25.

A board vote is scheduled for its legislative meeting at 7 p.m. Feb. 27.

The other three proposals are:

• Kossman Development Co. and Provident Charter School, $4.6 million. Their $36.8-million proposal includes 115 units of housing for college students and young professionals as well as a charter school for 336 dyslexic children in grades 2-8. The gym would stay, but the pool would be filled in and possibly used as a cafeteria.

• AWSVPA/Edward Alexei, $4.1 million. This plan, expected to cost more than $25 million, would turn the building into the Andy Warhol School of Visual and Performing Arts for up to 1,000 high school students. Planned by a group of Schenley alumni including Mr. Alexei, the tuition-based school would have four tracks: animation, film and audio production, game development and performing arts. A nonprofit organization would be formed to operate it.

• Ralph A. Falbo Inc. and Beacon Communities Development, $4 million. Their $32 million plan calls for 123 market rate apartments. The gym and pool addition would be demolished. Auditorium use is to be determined. Mr. Falbo is a Schenley graduate.

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Eleanor Chute: echute@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1955. First Published February 6, 2013 5:45 AM


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