NEW BEDFORD — There are few options remaining for the future of the long-vacant Phillips Avenue Elementary School.

One being considered is a proposal to convert the building into housing, with 17 apartment units. The Cruz Development Corporation, which also operates Verdean Gardens in the South End of New Bedford, has told the city they will build and manage the property, as well and parking and landscape areas around the building.

On his "Midweek with the Mayor" segment on WBSM, Mayor Jon Mitchell told listeners that there is only one other option for the property. Mitchell said "In all likelihood, we'll have to demolish that building. That will do two things. It will destroy a historic building that's been there for over one-hundred years, and it will likely cost the city about a million dollars."

At a meeting of the New Bedford City Council this week, Cruz Development said they would be open to adding additional parking on the site, given the concerns of neighbors who currently park at the location.

The council property committee plans to meet early in 2019 to determine what to do with the property.  Mayor Mitchell said that he's concerned about a long delay in taking action, as often developers move on to other projects.