(Phila., PA) - Connor Barwin, a former Philadelphia Eagle and founder of Make the World Better (MTWB) Foundation, will kick off the Mt. Airy Business Improvement District’s dedication ceremony Thursday, September 26th, 5:30 – 7:00 p.m., to mark the completion of five pocket parks along the Germantown Avenue commercial corridor and acknowledge the generous supporters who helped make the parks possible.
A Philadelphia resident, Barwin founded MTWB foundation in 2013 during his first year with the Eagles, and since then has led public park revitalization projects in West Kensington and South Philadelphia. Barwin was twice elected as the Eagles’ Walter Payton Man of the Year recipient in recognition of his community service efforts.
“The Mt. Airy Business Improvement District (BID) is very excited to welcome Connor Barwin to Mt. Airy and proud to share MTWB’s mission to enhance public spaces,” said Mt. Airy BID Chair Ken Weinstein. “Since its founding in 2008, Mt. Airy BID efforts have helped transform Germantown Avenue from a trash-strewn commercial corridor to a clean, green, and safe business district to serve the residents of Northwest Philly and beyond.”
The Mt. Airy Business Improvement District is one of 14 business improvement districts in the City of Philadelphia. Business Improvement Districts are legal mechanisms for property owners and businesses in a defined geographic area to jointly plan and fund a set of services to improve their area. The Mt. Airy BID is funded by 223 property owners to maintain the cleaning and greening of 1.8 miles of commercial corridor from Washington Lane to Cresheim Valley Drive.
Constructed over the past two years, the pocket parks converted vacant and underutilized lots along the commercial corridor into nicely landscaped gathering spots for the public to enjoy. The parks were made possible through the support of property owners in the BID, along with private donations from the community. The park amenities include benches, café and gaming tables, and custom-made little free libraries that celebrate Mt. Airy.
The pocket park in the 6300 block of Germantown Avenue is located next to the Johnson House Historic Site, Philadelphia’s only accessible and intact stop on the Underground Railroad. The park will be named Freedom Park in honor of this legacy. A sixth pocket park, to be built in 2020 in the 7100 block of Germantown Avenue, will be named Friendship Park. Located between “Freedom” and “Friendship” parks are: Sedgwick Park, Carpenter Park, Pelham Park, and Trolley Car Park, which is located next to the SEPTA depot.
Our thanks go out to all the volunteers who helped make our annual Philly Spring Clean Up Day a success. A special shout-out to Philadelphia Hebrew Public Charter School and Teens Inc. Philly, who both brought more volunteers than we could count.
265 bags of mulch were placed along the 1.8 mile commercial corridor, including in three pocket parks. This time next year, we will have three more parks in our inventory. See you all next year?
The Mt. Airy BID is pleased to announce the launch of www.GoNWPhilly.com, a new website that will promote our Mt. Airy commercial corridor, as well as those of our neighboring communities.
We, along with eight other non-profit Commercial Development Corporations and Business Improvement districts that represent seven distinct Northwest Philadelphia neighborhoods, are part of the Northwest Commercial Corridors Coalition, which spearheaded this project to celebrate the abundant food, shopping, services and activities that visitors can find in Northwest Philly.
These neighborhoods include Chestnut Hill, East Falls, Germantown, Manayunk, Mt. Airy, Roxborough and West Oak Lane.
We invite you to visit the site for regular updates and information about each neighborhood, including upcoming special events, hidden gems to try, and must-see sites that you may have missed.
We would also love for you to follow GoNWPhilly on social media – find us at @gonwphilly on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Thank you so much!
April showers brought...well, more showers in May, but the BID isn't complaining. On May 1st, the BID received a delivery of 400 geranium and began planting the hanging baskets on the avenue. Talk about crazy weather! Days before the delivery, the weather was still threatening to plummet below freezing, and the day after delivery, the temperature hit a record 90 degrees!
Delivery day in the parking lot behind Little Jimmies Bakery Cafe, and first planting. And below, enjoy some of the flower displays by property and business owners on the avenue!
Community Acupuncture of Mt. Airy
Commons & Commons
The Mt. Airy Business Improvement District supported the city's Philly Spring Cleanup Day on April 14th by hosting a volunteer effort to mulch the tree pits on Germantown Avenue and beautify Trolley Car Park, next to the SEPTA Depot. Hundreds of organizations and thousands of citizens participate in a variety of projects on this annual cleanup day, and the Streets Department collects more than 600,000 pounds of trash each year!
220 bags of shredded mulch being delivered to Trolley Car Park in preparation for mulching.
Some of the intrepid mulch volunteers.
Did you know that the city’s Commerce Department has a program to reimburse commercial property owners and business owners for the installation of security cameras?
BID board members met in March with 14th Police District Captain Hearn, who enthusiastically promoted the program as a tool for discouraging crime on the commercial corridor. The “Business Security Camera Program” will reimburse commercial property owners and business owners for 50% of the cost (up to $3,000) for installation of security cameras. While the visible presence of security cameras is a crime deterrant, said Captain Hearn, in the event of criminal activity they can provide valuable information to police. Additionally, property/business owners can opt to have their security feed tie in directly to the 14th police district, giving headquarters more “eyes on the ground.”
The https://www.phillypolice.com/districts/14th/index.html also holds regular meeting at which the attending lieutenant has the authority and responsibility to address concerns. Here’s the calendar of meetings for April, which are broken out into three regions (known as Public Service Areas) for Mt. Airy:
Public Service Area (PSA) 2 (East Mt. Airy)
April 11th, 2018 7:00 PM
Pleasant Recreation Center
6720 Boyer St., Phila,Pa
Lt. Christine Wiggs
PSA 4 Meeting (Mt. Pleasant north to Chestnut Hill)
April 11th, 2018 7:00 PM
St. Paul’s Episcopal CLhurch
22 E Chestnut Hill Ave. , Phila,Pa
Lt. Sean Dandridge
Captain's Townhall Meeting
April 17th, 2018 6:00 PM
14th Police District Headquarters
43 W Haines St., Phila Pa
Capt. John Hearn
PSA 3 Meeting (West Mt. Airy)
April 18th, 2018 7:00 PM
Summit Presbyterian Church
6757 Greene., Phila,Pa
Lt. Richard Frank
Do you have a safety concern that you would like to see the BID address? Please contact BID Executive Director Janis Risch at 215-844-6492 or email@example.com.
Today's business and property owners face similar challenges. While business owners strive to attract both new and returning customers, property owners seek to attract tenants and command fair rents with limited turnover. Property owners, business owners, as well as the community-at-large all benefit from a vibrant commercial corridor.
While business owners understand the importance of investing in marketing and the internal appearance of their property, too often they neglect the exterior appearance – even though research shows that the exterior of a building and its surrounding properties greatly impacts the readiness of consumers to bring their hard-earned dollars to a commercial corridor.
In order to strengthen the commercial corridor and support business and property owners, the Mt. Airy Business Improvement District (BID), since its inception, has offered a matching grant program for businesses and property owners to make improvements to their building’s façade. The Mt. Airy BID invites you to participate in this vital community program in 2018.
The BID's grant may also be used in tandem with the City of Philadelphia's Storefront Improvement Program.