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PHILADELPHIA-Claiming it will save $2 million a year in operation costs and debt service, the city’s school district has bought the 850,000-sf office building at 440 North Broad St. from Irving, TX-based Archon Group for $45 million, or nearly $53 per sf. It will consolidate administrative offices, which are now located in three buildings it owns plus rented space in numerous Center City locations.

The North Broad property was considered the most cost-effective of several options. A 30-year, level-debt bond will fund the acquisition. The district will lease 100,000 sf of the property to “education partners” or other nonprofits. The local office of Julien J. Studley represented the school district in negotiating the acquisition.

Meanwhile, the district is selling three buildings to a JV partnership consisting of locally based Switzenbaum Realty Capital and Synterra Ltd. for $25.5 million. The buildings are: a 12-story art deco gem, located at 2120 Winter St. just off the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, that is the school district’s current headquarters; the Stevens Administrative Center at 1301 Spring Garden St., and John F. Kennedy Center at 734 Schuylkill Ave.

The JV plans to renovate the properties into primarily residential facilities. Locally based Binswanger/CBB represented the school district in the final negotiations, which began after the JV submitted the highest bid for the trio of buildings.

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