Tacony CDC Becomes Kiva Zip Trustee Tapping New Potential for Small Business Owners

The Tacony CDC has been designated as a trustee by the Kiva Zip Program. Kiva Zip offers 0% interest loans up to $5,000 and we thought this could be a great resource for entrepreneurs and business owners. Loans are crowd-funded on the Kiva Zip website by individuals around the world who invest as little as $5. It’s a powerful marketing platform that can get your business exposure to new potential customers and advocates. Their funding success rate is 97%, and the process only takes a few weeks. We haven’t endorsed our first entrepreneur just yet, but if you are interested in using this fundraising tool contact us at 215-501-7799 or e-mail alex@taconycdc.org

Kiva Zip connects business owners to low-cost capital in order to fund specific projects.

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Tacony CDC Offers Co-op Ad Opportunities to Local Businesses

We are excited to offer the opportunity for a co-op ad in the Northeast Times for Tacony businesses. This will be a full-page ad purchased that includes space for each participating merchant. By participating in this full page black and white co-op ad you receive advertising for substantially less than if you were to purchase an ad individually. The cheapest ad buy for an individual business in the Northeast Times is $70. In addition to this ad, the CDC will run a series of social media ad buys to boost the reach of the co-op ad through our ShopTacony and other social media channels. The CDC is also able to subsidize a portion of the cost. The ad will run one week in advance.

Don't miss this chance to participate!

Don’t miss this chance to participate!

Through our experience we find the most success when you as a merchant promote a specific food, product, or service. This allows you to promote your business and give a reason for people to visit and shop in your store while promoting our shopping district and neighborhood businesses. The ad on the back of this flyer is a basic mock-up of what the ad would look like. Depending on participation levels the ad may be adjusted and further refined. If you would like to participate please download this form  and return with a check for $25 made payable to the TACONY CDC.

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Reinvestment Rolls On in Tacony

The goal of the Tacony Community Development Corporation is to revitalize the Tacony Community. Through our targeted investments and management in the Torresdale Ave commercial corridor we’ve attracted new outside investment to renovate and improve our commercial buildings.

Reinvestment Statistics

Our last reinvestment article was published on this blog in September of 2013. From the period beginning in late 2011 to September 2013 more than $1.2 million dollars was invested in building rehabilitation and other improvements. Since September 2013, we have another $860,000 in building rehabilitation and improvements both planned and under construction.

These reinvestment statistics indicate progress continues along Torresdale Ave

These reinvestment statistics indicate progress continues along Torresdale Ave

Key Buildings Sold & Under Renovation

The recovery of the real estate market continues in Tacony with key sales of buildings along Torresdale Ave. These include the planned renovations of formerly vacant or residential properties into commercial use.

Don’t forget these major projects planned and under construction in the neighborhood.

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Tacony Marks Business Safety Camera Milestone

In July of last year the Tacony CDC began promoting the city’s SafeCam/ Business Security Camera Program to our local merchants.  Merchants were presented with the program’s requirements and worked with the CDC to see their applications to completion. Through the course of 9 months, a program name change, tons of cut sheets, and more knowledge about pixels than we ever thought we’d need to know we can proudly say Tacony is a much safer place.

Torresdale Ave has more cameras than any other time in its history. The Philadelphia Police know the location of these cameras and can access footage to help reduce crime in our area. These cameras not only reduce crime they also help to prevent it.

Torresdale Ave has more cameras than any other time in its history. The Philadelphia Police know the location of these cameras and can access footage to help reduce crime in our area. These cameras not only reduce crime they also help to prevent it.

Program Highlights

  • Collaborated with over 11 business to roll out this program
  • Cameras are located at 8 strategic locations in Tacony
  • 32 cameras have been installed throughout the Tacony Community
  • This means the city and our small business owners have invested over $30,000 dollars in security improvements for Tacony

Improving Public Safety

Our business owners and neighbors worked together to improve safety for residents and customers. The CDC will continue to assist business and property owners interested in participating in the Business Security Camera Program.

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Tacony News Update: April 23rd 2015

Welcome Summer With Ice Cream and Water Ice on April 23rd at Esposito’s Water Ice

We can’t welcome summer without ice cream and water ice. Say hello to great weather and sunshine at Esposito’s Water Ice at 7133 Torresdale Ave for their grand opening. It’s that time of year again. It should be great news for our neighborhood kids who just can’t wait for summer to begin. Read a review from phillyicestands.

Phillyicestands recommends Mango and Lemon as favorites. photo: phillyicestands

Phillyicestands recommends Mango and Lemon as favorites. photo: phillyicestands

Help us Fix Up Our Next 11 Storefronts!

It’s no secret that our storefront program has been a success. We need to continue that progress with our next 11 storefronts. Unfortunately a rules change to the program has made that impossible. Please take a chance to sign the petition to fix that program so we can continue our success with our City’s neighborhood contractors. Councilman Bobby Henon is sponsoring a change to the program that will help us fix up our next 11 storefronts, taking the total storefronts improved along Torresdale Ave to 26 or 1 in 5 commercial buildings.

Help us build on further progress.

Help us build on further progress.

Tacony Business Expands to Center City

Our congratulations to Fink’s Hoagies, a community anchor and staple of the Hoagie Trail. Fink’s has announced it will be opening a second location in the area around 8th and Walnut. If you live in Tacony and work near Market East you’ll never be too far from Fink’s! Our congratulations to Dennis Fink and his amazing team on this growth.

Look out William Penn!

Look out William Penn!

SawTown Tavern Plans Brews Debuts at Philly Beer Week

SawTown has announced some great specialty beers brewed specifically for SawTown. The first two exclusive beers they’ll be tapping during Philly Beer Week is a Vienna Lager, brewed by Sly Fox in collaboration with Standard Tap, and an IPA by Naked Brewing. Soon, SawTown will be announcing an opening date with lots of special activities planned. Learn about their brewing adventures with Sly Fox here. SawTown has worked with local businesses FargoMogo and the Computer Guy to publicize the process.

The SawTown and SlyFox team

The SawTown and SlyFox team

Trees Grow Our Commercial Corridors Including Torresdale Ave

Restoring our tree canopy along Torresdale Ave has been a major goal of our design improvements along Torresdale Ave. In partnership with property owners and TreePhilly we have planted more than 50 along the corridor. Our manager Alex Balloon is quoted in this generocity article about trees along Commercial Corridors. Councilman Henon and the City of Philadelphia recently announced some trees in our neighborhood will be trimmed and dead trees removed this year.

Sharpen Your Business Skills

The Community College of Philadelphia Center for Small Business presents, the 5th Annual Small Business Conference at 12901 Townsend Road Philadelphia, PA 19154 May 21, 2015 8:00 am – 4:00 pm. You can “Unlock Your Business Potential” as a small business owner and network with other business owners. Topics include funding, marketing, and business growth. Cost $20. Register today.

Tacony Library Offers Great Programs

Many great activities are in the works for the Tacony Library. Check out the calendar of what’s coming up.

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Perfect Weather Contributes to an Outstanding Hoagie Trail Second Birthday Celebration

This past Saturday the Tacony community celebrated the second birthday of its delicious Hoagie Trail in beautiful snow-free 63 degree sunny weather.  All four of our great hoagie shops participated in this year’s event and offered discounts on their famous sandwiches. After speaking to the shop owners we estimate that over 1200 hoagies were sold on Saturday with over 600 customers participating in the event.

We would like to thank the owners of Fink’s Hoagies, Jack’s Place, Denofa’s Deli, and Paganos Steaks and Shakes for participating in this year’s celebration. A special thanks goes out to Board member Scott DeGirolamo of the Computer Guy for donating his time and skills to make the event’s promotional video that was viewed by over 4000 people! All this for a total project budget of less than $200.

Great hoagies deserve great infographics!

Great hoagies deserve great infographics!

Hoagie Trail Fast Facts

If you laid out 1200 hoagies end to end it would stretch for one fifth of a mile.

Next time you venture on the Hoagie try following our route! This route will take you through Disston Park and will help sweat off some those calories you found on your journey.

Award winning hoagies: Jack’s Place was recently named best hoagie shop in the city by Thrillist.com and Fink’s Hoagies has won best hoagie shop in the city from phl17 for five years straight.

The way Tacony serves its Italian Hoagies is actually different than South Philadelphia. In Tacony most sandwich shops use crumbled provolone cheese as opposed to sliced provolone cheese. We don’t know what created this difference, but we do know it sure does taste good.

Once again thanks to everyone that ventured on the trail and we look forward to seeing you next year!

See you the next bite around.

See you the next bite around.

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Real Estate Round Up

Check out some of Tacony’s recent real estate offerings. Click the links for more information, everything is provided by the seller or owner. Current as of 3/12/2015

6435 Torresdale Avenue

6435Torresdale

Thriving hair salon on high traffic block in up and coming Tacony area. Perfect for nail, hair or tanning salon. Sale includes all equipment and fixtures. Upper and lower level consists of two one-bedroom apartments for added income.

6928 Torresdale

6928Torresdale

This 2000 square foot single family home has 3 bedrooms and 1.0 bathrooms. It is located at 6928 Torresdale Ave Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

6908/6910 Torresdale Avenue

6908Torresdale

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.

6814 Torresdale Avenue

6814Torresdale

814 Torresdale Ave. This is an excellent development opportunity in the heart of historic Tacony’scommercial district! The area is presently undergoing a series of revitalization measures and a combination of public and non-public investment has Torresdale Avenue on an upward trajectory. Check out the website historictaconyrevitalization-dot-com. Zoned CMX-2, this property has a wide variety of potential uses. Built in the late 1920’s as the Liberty Movie Theater, this one-story structure features high ceilings and approximately 14,400 square feet of space, primarily divided into two (2) clear span areas.(Click the link above for more)

6918 Torresdale Avenue

6918Torresdale

Entrepreneur and Investor Alert : Tacony is on the Rise : This 4,000 SF commercial property is a very desirable premium double-wide Mixed-Use Investment Opportunity strategically located on the commercial corridor in the Heart of Tacony. First Floor: Open 2,000 SF expansive commercial Space 34’x60′ on ground level is offered for sale ‘as is’ in good condition. Tall ceiling, double-wide window display, use of full 2,000 SF basement and 22’x34′ cement back patio. Newer Electric Heat Pump & Central Air, 200 AMP Electric Service. Second Floor: Two 1,000 SF 2BDR one bath residential units are above. Tall ceiling, gas heat, gas cooking, double-glazed windows, and each unit has 100 AMP electric service. One unit offers refinished hardwood floors, while the other has carpeting. External iron staircase exists in back. All utilities are separately metered and the building is Code Compliant. Area rents are about $.90/SF/M, so this property is poised to be a money maker: GAI = $43,600, Expenses = $6,600, NOI = $37,000. This building is solid and the prospective financials are strong offering a 10-CAP to investors, or ready for a fresh entrepreneur to unfold their vision in the commercial space while covering their costs from the residential component. Rethink Tacony! 4.5% Rate 20% Down 25 Year Term Lender Financing Available.

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Tacony CDC Now Soliciting Bids for Phase Two of the Torresdale Ave Facade Improvement Project

The Tacony Community Development Corporation (TCDC) is excited to announce it is now receiving bids for the completion of the second phase of its storefront improvement program. This is a formal invitation to any experienced and well-resourced contractor to submit a bid to furnish labor, materials, and equipment to renovate 11 (eleven) storefronts in the Tacony section of Philadelphia.

We will continue our momentum by improving 11 more facades.

We will continue our momentum by improving 11 more facades.

Scope of Work:

The TCDC’s storefront improvement program uses a Historic Preservation based approach to renovate the front facing facades of businesses located along the community’s commercial corridor. Attached to this letter are the construction drawings furnished by UCI Architects of Philadelphia. These designs have been approved by the City of Philadelphia Commerce Department and the Tacony CDC. The scope of work is detailed in the attached construction drawings. The contractor will responsible for acquiring all construction permits. This project is a prevailing-wage project. For additional information on Prevailing Wage Rates and requirements please contact Perritti DiVirgilio- Director Labor Standards Unit of the Philadelphia Commerce Department at 215-686-2132.

Submission Details:

Please submit a cover letter and estimate detailing costs for each individual storefront on your company’s letterhead. Include insurance coverage, estimated timeline, and other relevant documents for compliance with the City of Philadelphia’s commercial construction regulations. Also submit a list of completed comparable projects.

Question Submissions:

Please submit questions for the proposal to alex@tacony.cdc.org by March 13th, 2015. Answers to questions from potential bidders will be distributed by contractors via e-mail. The Tacony CDC will received sealed hard copy bids until 2:00PM Monday, March 30th at Tacony Community Development Corporation 4819 Longshore Ave, Unit C Philadelphia, PA 19135. Bids received after that date will not be accepted.

Download the Facade Bid Packet

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Making the Tacony Promotional Video

By Christian Regosch

In July of this past year our board member Scott DeGiralamo and myself had an idea to make a video about Tacony. Neither of us are cinematographers but how hard could it be? We know the neighborhood, so all we would need to do was to film what we know, add narration, a soundtrack, and edit it into a video.  So with a quick brainstorm and storyboard we began making the video.

Getting Started

After a week or two of research we settled on the style of video we liked.   Back in 2013 Visit Philly created a series of videos highlighting the strengths of some of the Philadelphia’s up and coming neighborhoods. The videos catalogued all the unique sites, shops, and history of these communities within a 2 to 3 minute timespan (click here to check them out). To add depth to the video they brought in a local business owner or resident to narrate the video and drive home the theme of community development. At first we watched the Visit Philly videos to find ideas to incorporate into a documentary style video that would be about ten minutes long. When we watched these videos we thought we could do a great similar video for Tacony. Awesome places to eat, great historic buildings, and quality outdoor spaces. We got to work storyboarding and outlining potential locations, shots, and film to include .

The Interview

Each of the videos included a narrator with local ties. This provides the pacing for the video and reinforces its “street cred.” For our video we asked Louis Iatarola to serve as the narrator. Lou and his father are both lifelong residents, and led the restoration effort of the Tacony Music Hall. This meant Lou could easily speak at length about Tacony.

We conducted the interview twice. In our first attempt our lighting was off and the camera set up was incorrect. On our second attempt we simplified our set up and properly placed the lighting around Lou.  This resulted in a better and more stable baseline for our video. Each interview session lasted forty minutes which means the audio you hear in the video is the best of the best from nearly 80 minutes of recording.

Lou

This still from the first interview shows Lou standing in a slightly different location with a darker lighting scheme.

Getting the Shots

                This was the most time consuming part of creating the video.  Every shot you see in the video comes from a larger cut that is at least one hour’s worth of work. In total we filmed about 25 hours worth of footage. Most shots were pretty straight forward, film up close and then phase out. But two shots in particular required technical expertise. In the beginning of the video right after the opening credits you see a shot of Torresdale Avenue. This shot was done using a jib to obtain a crane shot (hyperlink to the terms). This held the camera 12ft in the air and allowed for a panoramic shot of Torresdale Ave. Right near the end of the film you’ll see a shot of a Master Oon’s Karate studio that moves along with the action. To achieve this shot we laid down track and put the camera on a dolly. This allowed us roll along the front of the studio and capture all of the action (learn more here: jib and dolly).

ScottDeanChristian

Here you see Scott, his cinematographer Dean and myself working the jib, trying to get a shot of the avenue on a sunny day.

Editing

                Editing is a lot like writing, it may seem straight forward but to really do it well we had to revise and revise again. But on top of revising we had to go through hours of film to find the best shots and compile them into the final product. That’s exactly what Scott did. Scott served as our editor and worked multiple late nights to edit the video to his high standards. Our last edit for the video was done immediately prior to uploading the video to our YouTube account. We even put a public version of the video online and had to take it down because certain scenes looked washed out after we uploaded it to YouTube, requiring us to make more adjustments.

EditingPhoto

A shot of myself and Computer Guy Employee Manny reviewing footage of Lardner’s Point Park.

Reaction

                We introduced the video on our Facebook last week and the reaction has been incredible and overwhelmingly positive.  As of Monday the video has been viewed over 2,000 times on YouTube and has reached 24,000 people on Facebook. But the best parts are the comments! People who live in Tacony now and those that once lived in the neighborhood are happy and proud to see that their community is being shown in a positive light. The greatest testament to this is the amount of shares we’ve gotten, currently 84 people. At the current rate this video will garner as many views as the many of Visit Philly Neighborhood videos and could surpass the total in the near future! 

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Construction Update

Key Projects for 2015 are well underway!  Two of Tacony’s largest projects hit the ground running and are already changing the landscape of our community.

Below is the Tacony Academy Wissinoming Campus. Formerly a billiards hall, this site is completely unrecognizable now buzzing with trucks, rebar, and raw material ready to transform this section of the community.

unnamed (1)

Here is a photograph of the New Dietz and Watson plant expansion that will serve as one of its regional distribution centers. Don’t let the picture fool you the new building is enormous and will add 400 jobs to our area.

DietzWatson

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