The Tacony CDC was honored by the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia at the Preservation Achievement Awards held on June 3rd at the Union League of Philadelphia. Receiving the prestigious Grand Jury prize for outstanding achievements in Historic Preservation with its Storefront Program, the Tacony CDC included important project partners–the Philadelphia Department of Commerce and the Community Design Collaborative.
Receiving the award were: Alex Balloon Tacony CDC; Georgeanne Huff-Labovitz Tacony CDC Board President and Owner Marie Huff Hairdressing; Yvonne Boye Senior Director Philadelphia Commerce Department; and Robin Kohles Project Associate at the Community Design Collaborative
Storefront Program Saved
Thanks to the efforts of Councilman Bobby Henon the Philadelphia Storefront Program was funded this year and saved as a valuable neighborhood revitalization tool. Our thanks goes out to the Councilman for his leadership on this issue. Our Tacony CDC board member and local business owner Mike Scotese was an outstanding advocate for this important program. We look forward to beginning our next round of storefronts later in the year.
By James Onofrio
On Tuesday, Tacony area residents got a chance to interact with planners and designers working on a plan to upgrade a street between Torresdale Avenue and the Delaware. Project staff from Interface Studio, Johnson, Mirmiran & Thompson (JMT), an engineering firm, and the project’s sponsor Delaware River City Corporation were on hand to give a short presentation and get feedback from residents about what they wanted to get from the project.
The team is considering a few streets as the main possibilities: Levick, Magee and Unruh. Each had positives and negatives. Currently, Magee does not continue all the way to the river, though it stops at a large grass field and could easily continue. Unruh enters an industrial area with industrial and other uses between 95 and the river. Levick Street, as the connector to the Tacony Palmyra Bridge, is much louder and heavily trafficked than the others, but also leads directly to Lardner’s Point Park.
Potential “connector streets” to link Torresdale Ave & Tacony to the Delaware Waterfront
What the project team is trying to do at this stage is get a sense of what the local community – the future users of the connector street – care most about for reconnecting the neighborhood to the river. Those who attended the meeting were asked to show on a large map where their favorite place in the neighborhood is, the place they think is the biggest problem area, and where they think needs the most improvement. Residents also got to choose among a dozen or so options what kinds of things they want to see in a “connector street,” such as good lighting, bike lanes, and wide sidewalks.
Based on the resident feedback given on Tuesday, the teams from Interface and JMT will begin developing more concrete proposals for each of the three streets, which will be presented again to residents at a later stage. Currently the study is slated to enter its next phase sometime in the spring.
By James Onofrio
A number of exciting, well-priced commercial properties are currently available along the Torresdale Avenue corridor in Tacony. The neighborhood has been undergoing a retail revitalization in recent years, with a handful of new businesses opening up and others remodeling their storefronts through city programs and their own initiative. This Real Estate Opportunities flyer highlights some of the currently available buildings in the neighborhood.
One unique property currently for sale is the historic Tacony Trust Company Building on the corner of Tulip and Longshore, built in the 1890s by Henry Disston as part of his vision for a company town to accompany the Disston Saw Works. This building offers almost 10,000 square feet of historical potential, with amenities including an elevator and dumb waiter, central AC on the first two floors, and a full basement for storage.
More conventional retail storefront opportunities are also available on Torresdale Avenue. Two former insurance offices, a former hardware store and a bar are currently listed. In conventional Philly row-home style, these buildings offer downstairs retail space with an upstairs residential unit. All are zoned CMX-2, the city’s mid-density mixed use designation common for commercial corridors like Torresdale Ave.
For more reasons why you should choose Tacony, see the Torresdale Avenue Business Recruitment package, which contains information about business improvement projects underway in the neighborhood and what kinds of new retail are needed on Torresdale Avenue.
The Delaware River City Corporation is sponsoring a study to better connect our neighborhood with the waterfront and places like Lardner’s Point Park. This project is called the Tacony Connector Street Study. Join us and the project team on Tuesday, June 16th from 6:30-8PM at the Disston Recreation Center at the intersection of Disston and Glenloch Streets.
We need to hear from you. Help plan a better Tacony!
If you cannot attend the meeting please participate by taking an online survey after June 16th.
Tacony families and friends enjoyed many special activities at Tacony Community Day at the Tacony Library on June 6, 2015. Attendees were welcomed with arts, crafts, face painting, balloon animals, and performers.
Families participated in a variety of fun activities at the Library.
Staff were on hand from the Free Library of Philadelphia to answer questions about the Tacony Library Renovation planned for next year. Also available were representatives from the Tacony CDC to discuss the upcoming Tacony Connector Street Project. In addition, the CDC distributed its Spring/Summer Newsletter highlighting major achievements.
Community organizations provided information about upcoming programs and events to attendees.
Many families participated in a special program and met two owls from the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education. Children learned about owl facts and legends.
Jordan, an educator from the SCEE introduces a screech owl to families and discusses owl facts and myths.
After months of hard work the Tacony community was delighted to welcome Sawtown Tavern to the neighborhood! The festivities kicked off at 11am when the Philly Beer Week bus, headed by co-owner and Tacony resident Mike Scotese, dropped the Hammer of Glory off to Tavern owner Troy Everwine. After the hammer’s pledge was recited Troy hoisted the hammer above his head and officially welcomed the crowd to his brand new restaurant. Nearly forty people packed into the establishment to sample the two custom house beers, Pink Bunny IPA and Sawtown Lager. The celebrations continued with a local dance crew performing a variety of moves for the crowd’s enjoyment. Throughout the course of the day dozens of people stopped in to check out the restaurant and support Tacony’s newest destination business. Sawtown Tavern is planning on adding a food section to their menu that will emphasize quality craft pizza in addition to their top flight drinks. They hope to be serving pizza by Labor Day weekend.
Sawtown Tavern is a joint venture between owners Troy Everwine and Mike Scotese. It is located at 4717-19 Princeton Avenue, right in the heart of Tacony. Make sure to visit their website sawtown.com, and follow them on Facebook and Twitter for latest updates on everything Sawtown.
This Saturday looks to be fun for the whole family in Tacony! The Tacony Library has organized Community Day in partnership with the Tacony CDC and other local groups. Learn about the planned renovations of the Tacony Library for an exciting new future. Meet a live owl from the Schuylkill Nature Center. Join us for some of these exciting activities:
Available all day:
Outdoor Flea Market
Friends of the Tacony Library Big Book Sale
Community Partner Tables
Don’t miss our full page ad running in this week’s Northeast Times. It promises to be a great day for our participating merchants.
10:00 – 2:00 DJ music (in the garden)
10:00 Snake Party with Scott Prior (in the meeting room)
11:00 Magic Show with Judy Tudy the Clown (in the meeting room)
11:00 – 2:00 Balloon Sculptor and Facepainting (in the garden)
12:00 Musical Storytime with the Little Connies (in the meeting room)
12:00 Library Renovations Info Session (on the main floor)
1:00 Learn About Owls: Live Owls from the Schuylkill Nature Center (in the meeting room)
2:00 Family Movie: Rio (in the meeting room)
Come and meet a live owl! It promises to be a “hoot”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Kiva Zip connects business owners to low-cost capital in order to fund specific projects.
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!
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.
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.
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
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.