Tacony community identifies areas for Torresdale Avenue improvements

From the Tacony CDC:

More than 50 Tacony residents, businesses, property owners and friends attended the kick-off meeting for the Historic Tacony Revitalization Project Oct. 17, held in the basement meeting room of at the Tacony Branch of the Philadelphia Free Library.

Addressing a standing room only crowd, Pete Naccarato, board president of the Tacony Community Development Corporation, welcomed everyone and shared the history of the Tacony CDC. He highlighted many of the important projects the CDC had completed during the past 10 years. Naccarato urged the audience to become an active part of the commercial corridor revitalization project to begin shortly for Torresdale and Longshore avenues.

He stated, “The Historic Tacony Revitalization Project is a very important priority for the Tacony Community Development Corporation.” After Naccarato made his remarks, he introduced Donna Ann Harris of Heritage Consulting Inc., a consultant to the TCDC. Harris spoke about the Main Street Approach to commercial corridor revitalization and how it would be used in Tacony, outlining the reasons commercial corridors had changed over the past 30 years, and how these changes had affected Torresdale Avenue.

She then spoke about how residents, businesses and property owners can become actively involved in the revitalization of Torresdale Avenue by undertaking volunteer projects. Harris discussed the team structure of the Main Street Approach, which will be used to organize the project’s efforts. This comprehensive approach will focus on four areas:

  • the design, safety and cleanliness of the corridor
  • the promotion of the district for shoppers
  • communication, fundraising and volunteer development
  • expansion of existing businesses and recruitment of new businesses to the avenue

At the heart of the effort, Harris noted, was the power of volunteers. As active partners, volunteers provide the energy for the revitalization effort. She invited attendees to join teams to create specific projects to help solve problems. She also introduced the job description and press release for the new corridor manager to be hired for the effort.

After her remarks, the audience broke into small groups to identify top challenges and ideas for new opportunities on the Torresdale Avenue corridor. Each of the seven small groups identified their top three ideas and concerns, and shared them with the audience. After everyone had shared his or her ideas and concerns, Harris spoke about where each fit within the team structure of the Main Street Approach. There was consensus about forming volunteer run teams on the following topics:

  • economic development
  • clean and safe
  • design/historic preservation

After Harris concluded her remarks, the audience reassembled to three discussions based on the major topics identified to discuss possible first projects to undertake to improve the Torresdale Avenue corridor.

The group agreed to meet again to discuss next steps and form project teams tonight at the Tacony Branch of the Free Library at Torresdale Avenue and Knorr Streets. Registration begins at 5:30 p.m. and the meeting will be held from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

More information and an agenda for the meeting is available from Donna Ann Harris at 267 251 5444 or historictaconyrevitalization AT gmail.com

The mission of the Tacony Community Development Corporation is the revitalization and preservation of the neighborhood of Tacony.

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