Wake Up and Smell The Coffee! Café Espresso’s Grand Opening Fri 9/05 10am-5pm

Before you head off to work or before you hit the shore for the weekend, be sure to stop by Café Espresso on Friday, September 5th between 10am-5pm for a free sample of some delicious, locally sourced, La Colombe coffee. You’ll be tempted to buy a cup of your own and try some pastries and other goodies as well.

We are very excited to announce the grand opening of Café Espresso & Pasticceria at 4741 Princeton Ave. It has been a group effort to bring the café into fruition. Spearheaded by the owner, Anthony Cancilliere, we would also like to specifically acknowledge Justine Bolkus, who assisted in acquiring the necessary licensing and permits through the permits and licensing Department.

The Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce made possible Café Espresso’s storefront improvement through their Storefront Improvement Program. The Café now features a warm and inviting storefront for customers along Princeton Ave to come and enjoy.

Screen Shot 2014-08-12 at 12.04.14 PMScreen Shot 2014-08-12 at 12.07.44 PM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEFORE                                                                       AFTER

 

We would also like to thank Scott DeGirolamo of Computer Guy and Christian Regousch for organizing and promoting the grand opening as well as all the people who partnered with us and Café Espresso to make it possible.

We encourage everyone to come out and be part of its grand opening celebration to help kick-off this new café in Tacony to a great start! We know Café Espresso will be a wonderful addition to the current stores along Torresdale Ave as a nice place to meet up with friends and neighbors to enjoy a fresh cup of top quality coffee.

Their menu will also feature light breakfast options as well as a selection of soups, sandwiches and entrees for lunch. Come and check it out Sept 7th. We’ll look forward to seeing you there!

Written by: Audrey von Ahrens

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Tackling Blight in Tacony

This summer, we embarked upon an important challenge: tackling blight in Tacony. Our work-study interns surveyed all 6,000 residential and commercial properties in the Tacony service area in search of vacant lots, structurally unsound buildings, and vandalism.

In total, 280 cases of blight were reported to the relevant city departments using Philly 311. Over 70% of cases consisted of residential maintenance violations and illegal graffiti. As our work-study interns walked through the neighborhood, they noticed that boarded windows and graffiti on public signs were serious issues.

Neighborhood Services, the Streets Department, and Licenses & Inspections have already begun visiting blighted properties. We cannot thank them enough for helping us tackle blight in Tacony!  As property owners correct their violations, we look forward to seeing improvement in Tacony’s overall appearance!

Click below for more information on the recently completed blight survey. Also, stay tuned for more project updates as the summer comes to a close.

 

Tacony Blight Survey Summary-01

 

Written by: Marie Suvansin

 

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10 More Businesses Approved for the Storefront Improvement Program

We are pleased to announce that the second round of the Storefront Improvement Program is under way! Tacony CDC has been working in partnership with the Department of Commerce and a total of 10 businesses have just been approved to begin the Storefront Improvement Program process, adding to the original 16 projects completed in the first round. By the end of the second round, Tacony could see a total of 26 new storefronts along the Avenue since 2013. 

The 10 businesses that have been approved for the second round are Sunny Cleaners, Dust to Dawn, Magic Wok, Jack Stabler’s State Farm Insurance, Philadelphia Media Exchange, Torresdale Chiropractic Center, Guy Caputo’s Barber Shop, Davie’s Insurance & Auto Tags, Graphix One,  and Anna Marie’s Academy of Dance.

The next step is for these businesses to meet with an architect and start thinking about the new design for their storefront. We are very excited to work with them and see even more positive changes happening along Torresdale Avenue!

Check out these “before” photographs of the current storefronts:

Dust to Dawn Storefront_Before 2

Sunny Cleaners Storefront_Before

Magic Wok Storefront_Before 3

State Farm Storefront_Before 2

Philly Media Storefront_Before 2

Torresdale Chiropractic Storefront_Before

Guy Caputo's Storefront_Before

Storefront Before Improvements 2

Graphix One Storefront_Before

Anna Marie's Storefront_Before3

Written and photographed by: Audrey von Ahrens

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The Tacony Satisfaction Survey Results Are In!

In July, we surveyed 50 residents and visitors to find out if our projects are making a noticeable difference in our community. We organized the survey questions under three topics: Clean & Safe Streets, Shopping in Tacony, and Storefront Improvements.

The results are in, and we are blown away by how positive they are! The majority of participants have noticed an improvement in cleanliness and safety, as well as in the appearance of storefronts. Feedback like this lets us know that our Clean & Safe efforts and Storefront Improvement Program are worth continuing.

We also received feedback that will help us improve other projects. Because the survey results show that safety is still a concern for some residents, we will encourage business owners to install security cameras through programs such as SafeCam. In addition, because not all users are fully utilizing Shop Tacony and Historic Tacony Revitalization, we will work hard to make the websites more user-friendly.

Thank you to all the residents and visitors who took our survey. With your feedback and support, we can continue making Tacony a better place to live, work, and visit!

For more details, please click here to see the full report with figures.

 

 

written by: Marie Suvansin

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New Property Listed for Sale at 6908 & 6910 Torresdale Avenue

This prime, mixed-use commercial property along Torresdale Avenue has just recently come on the market. The property is 2,760 square feet and consists of two separate tax parcels that are attached with four total rental units: two first floor storefronts and two second floor apartment units.

This building is part of Tacony’s Historic Commercial Corridor. It provides a great opportunity to live above your store while renting the other units and recruiting new businesses to the area. It is a great location right off of I-95 with access to New Jersey and the SEPTA regional rail Trenton line.

The property is currently listed at $215,000. If interested, contact Jim Gorecki at Fidelity Commercial Real Estate. He can be reached by email at  jgorecki@fidelitycommercial.com or by phone at 610-878-2220 or 610-639-0168.

6908and6910

Link to: 6908-6910 Torresdale Avenue Description

 

written by: Audrey von Ahrens

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Tacony CDC Helps Make the Avenue Safer

Torresdale Avenue is becoming a safer place for residents, merchants, and patrons. We have started helping local businesses utilize the Commerce SafeCam Program to add exterior security cameras to their properties. This program funds 50% or up to $3000 of exterior security camera improvements for any eligible business.  SafeCam has been used by businesses in Tacony prior to this roll out, but this time we will directly assist any business looking to use this program. Our assistance includes but is not limited to site photography, contractor communication, and the application process.

Joseph A Sannutti Funeral Home

Sannutti Funeral home, located at the corner of Princeton and Torresdale (7101 Torresdale Avenue), is the first business to use our assistance. Their installation will include several high resolution cameras facing outward towards Torresdale Avenue and an interior AV support system.  The funeral home owner will have the capability of monitoring activity while away from his property through remote access. This is a major gain for our community because the intersection of Princeton and Torresdale is one of Tacony’s most heavily trafficked spots. The cameras allow police and the funeral home owner to be proactive in addressing litter, graffiti, and other quality of life issues. The presence of the 24-hour surveillance system will function as a deterrent to those that might commit these kinds of crimes.

Security cameras are an appealing form of security enhancement. Most modern models are designed to be unobtrusive and securely installed. This is opposed to large security grates which are easy to damage and create a dark and brooding image for patrons. Smart, sensible improvements like these contribute to our vision of Torresdale Avenue being a clean and safe environment to shop and raise a family.

Contractors take a break to smile for our camera

Contractors take a break to smile for our camera

If you own a business in Tacony and are interested in using SafeCam to add security cameras to your exterior, please contact Christian Regosch at the Tacony CDC office at 215-501-7799. Please note the security system must meet a set of baselines requirements laid out in the program guidelines found in the link below. Any commercial business is eligible for the program so long as they are current with all city taxes, fees, and are properly licensed.

Link to the Commerce SafeCam Program’s webpage

 

written by: Christian Regosch

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Construction Update: July 28, 2014

From streets to storefronts, there is plenty of construction activity on Torresdale Avenue this summer. We would like to share a few brief updates on what’s happening and what’s to come.

On July 17, the Philadelphia Streets Department began street striping and sidewalk construction on Torresdale Avenue. Faded centerlines have been repainted yellow. Sidewalks have been marked with orange paint to denote where utilities improvements will be made.

As mentioned in a previous post, the Philadelphia Streets Department will also install new banners with our district logo on Torresdale Avenue. Trash cans will be installed at key intersections. These and more improvements compose the second phase of the Torresdale Avenue Project, sponsored by the Major Artery Revitalization Committee. Chris Creelman of the Office of Councilman Bobby Henon and Trevor Booz of the Philadelphia Streets Department Highway Construction Unit have been integral to this project.

Since our last construction update on April 9, three more storefronts have been completed: Bull’s Eye Darts, the Athenian, and New Station Pizza.

Bull's Eye Darts

Bull’s Eye Darts now has new security grilles, paint, and window graphics.

Athenian

The Athenian has a new, vibrant blue awning with crisp white letters.

Just this week, New Station Pizza installed a new awning. The appropriate fire engine red awning showcases New Station Pizza’s new logo – a classic steam locomotive.

Just last week, New Station Pizza installed a new awning. The appropriate fire engine red awning showcases New Station Pizza’s new logo – a classic steam locomotive.

Construction at 4707 Longshore Avenue is in full swing. The building’s historic details are being prepared for a fresh coat of paint. The new storefront will be painted mahogany red with azure blue and burnt orange accents in the traditional Victorian style.

Finally, construction at 6802 Torresdale Avenue is underway for a new seafood market. Customers will be able to have their seafood steamed or fried on the spot. Owner Amy Chen told us that the market will also sell fresh fruits and vegetables.

Follow our blog to get periodic updates on construction here in Tacony.

 

written by: Marie Suvansin

 

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Tacony Satisfaction Survey Closing Soon

It’s your last chance to have your views heard!

Our Tacony Satisfaction Survey is quickly coming to a close on Friday, July 21. To date, almost 50 residents, visitors, and merchants have responded to the brief, 5-minute survey.

Thank you to everyone who has completed the Tacony Satisfaction Survey so far. Your responses will help us benchmark our progress, as well as design future projects to improve our community!

To take the Tacony Satisfaction Survey, click here now.

 

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Tacony is Recruiting Businesses for Torresdale Avenue!

One of our work-study students, Audrey von Ahrens, has been working to put together a business recruitment package to help attract more businesses to the Torresdale Avenue commercial corridor. Statistics show that consumer demand is growing. The package highlights the demographics in the surrounding neighborhood and the existing business clusters. Market analysis shows the types of businesses that are needed in Tacony in order to fill the current retail gap and meet demand.

We note the many opportunities that are made available when locating a business in Tacony. These include assets such as its convenient location along I-95 and SEPTA’s Regional Rail Trenton line, the historic housing stock and Storefront Improvement Program as well as the many other grant and loan opportunities that TCDC assists property and storeowners in acquiring.

Along with the business recruitment package, we have reached out to property owners along Torresdale Avenue to inquire about their future plans for the properties and offer TCDC as a resource for recruiting tenants. A modified version of the package was also published in the Northeast Times.

With our newly planted trees, brand new striping on Torresdale Ave. and the first 16 storefront improvements almost done, the Avenue is looking great! We now expect the business recruitment package will help continue our efforts in bringing in new businesses such as a bakeries, restaurants and more specialty stores to the Avenue. We have high hopes for the future of Tacony!

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Check out the business recruitment package!

written by: Audrey von Ahrens

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“Truly Tacony” Business Spotlight: Brian Freifelder of Philadelphia Media Exchange

This series highlights local businesses along Torresdale Avenue that embrace what it means to be ‘Truly Tacony’. Brian Freifelder is the proud owner of Philadelphia Media Exchange, a retailer of DVDs, CDs, and video games at 6804 Torresdale Avenue.

Brian Freifelder owns Philadelphia Media Exchange on Torresdale Ave in Tacony

Brian Freifelder owns Philadelphia Media Exchange on Torresdale Ave in Tacony

How long have you been in business?

I have been selling online for 15 years and have had this storefront for 4.5 years. I also used to sell at the Quaker City Flea Market and Tacony Palmyra Flea Market.

Why did you get started in Tacony?

Before I had a storefront, I was trading at flea markets. I only worked on the weekends or when it wasn’t too cold to be outside. With this storefront, I can sell during the week and not have to worry about the weather.

What makes Tacony different than anywhere else in the city?

Tacony is a great place for doing business because there are so many potential customers. Pretty much all of my customers are local.

What do you like most about being located on Torresdale Avenue in Tacony?

I have the post office, Salvation Army, and a great seafood place down the street (Caribbean Seafood Inc). Almost everything I need to run my business is closeby. I-95 is really close, so my business is easy to get to.

What do you enjoy the most about your customers?

I enjoy how friendly my customers are. There are a lot of friendly people in this neighborhood.

What’s your favorite item or service that you sell?

My favorite item that I sell is video games. Everyone that works here is passionate about video games, movies, and music. Something that people might not know is that I also trade books and unopened board games.

What do you hope Tacony will look like in the future?

I look forward to Tacony becoming a safer and cleaner place. I know that there are organizations in the area already working to make this happen.

 

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