Philadelphia is poised to take a hit of more than $42 million in its sale of the former Provident Mutual Life Insurance Co. building after abandoning plans to locate the city’s police headquarters there.
The city is under contract to sell the historic West Philadelphia property for $10 million after paying more than $52 million to buy it and begin renovating it for use by the Police Department, the Philadelphia Tribune newspaper reported last week.
Philadelphia-based Iron Stone Real Estate Partners was selected by the city to develop the site at 46th and Market Streets based on its plan to transform the 325,000-square-foot insurance company building into a public health and community service center.
Potential tenants include Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia medical offices and a YMCA-operated daycare center, Iron Stone representatives have said.
City spokesman Paul Chrystie said in an email to the Tribune that bidding on the property had been “is in line with the value identified” by two independent appraisals.
A bill authorizing the sale has been voted out of City Council’s Public Property and Public Works committee and could be introduced to the full Council this week, with a vote potentially coming before the end of the month, the Tribune reported.
Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell, whose district includes the site, said that she believed plans for the site were unfolding without sufficient input from her office and its constituents, and that she may vote against the sale, according to the Tribune.
The Provident Mutual building’s namesake occupant moved out in 1983. City Council approved plans under then-Mayor Nutter in 2014 for its conversion into a police headquarters to replace the force’s current home in the dated four-story concrete building at 750 Race St. known as the Roundhouse.
Those plans were abandoned about three years later during the Kenney administration, when the city said it would instead seek to move the Police Department into the former Inquirer building at 400 N. Broad St. The department is expected to be in its new home by spring 2020 at an expense of $280.3 million.