Happy New Year! At the Tacony Community Development Corporation, we’re celebrating the start of 2022 and looking back on all of the great things that happened in Tacony in 2021. Thanks to the support of our partners, neighbors, sponsors, and local organizations the CDC worked on several fronts to improve Tacony: organization and partnerships; cleanliness and safety; neighborhood design; promotion of the area; and economic vitality. Despite challenges and restrictions, our recent efforts made positive improvements to the Tacony neighborhood, making this year a success!
2021 marked the ten-year anniversary of the modern version of the Tacony Community Development Corporation. To commemorate it, we held a celebration with community partners and elected officials. This year, the CDC received new and continuing sources of funding from a variety of partners, allowing us to continue working towards the improvement of Tacony. For example, thanks to a partnership with the Tacony Historical Society, we were able to successfully add the Tacony Worsted Mills and the Disston-Tacony Waterfront Industrial Historic District to the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places.
To maintain a clean area, we continued our partnership with the “Men in Blue” at Ready, Willing, and Able who continue to clean Torresdale Avenue regularly. The CDC also addressed corridor maintenance issues like illegal dumping, graffiti, building maintenance, and abandoned vehicles. Through the Vacant and Abandoned Properties Act (Act 135), we were able to decrease the number of vacant buildings in Tacony as well. As part of our effort to improve public safety in the area, the CDC partnered with the Philadelphia Police in addition to installing registered security cameras on Torresdale Avenue.
This year, we continued to focus on the design and beautification of the Tacony neighborhood. The CDC completed facade lighting projects at four businesses and improved the storefronts of an additional three. We also continued to maintain the trees along Torresdale Avenue, and installed brand new trash cans on our main business corridor! Thanks to the artist Lindsey Tweed, Tacony has a new “Hello Neighbor” mural that can be found at Torresdale and Longshore. Artist Mat Tomeszeko also brought some beauty to Tacony with an art installation at the Tacony Library. In addition, the Streets Department and PennDOT installed new LED lighting on Torresdale Avenue, and the Philadelphia Horticultural Society partnered with us to create a “garden block” on and around the 7000 block of Torresdale Avenue.
As part of an effort to promote life in Tacony, the CDC started a new home-marketing campaign: “Picture Yourself Here: Make Tacony Home.” We also promoted local businesses with “business spotlights” on our blog and social media, and celebrated “Small Business Saturday” this holiday season. In a partnership with the Free Library of Philadelphia and thanks to funding provided by the William Penn Foundation, school-aged children in Tacony participated in the ten-week “Tacony Explorers” program at the Tacony Library, where kids joined us in STEM, literacy, and enrichment activities. We also partnered with lots of local organizations to host a Back to School Block Party on Torresdale Avenue. Once the school year started up, the CDC sponsored the Tacony Homework Help Club held at the Tacony Library!
To improve the economic vitality of the Tacony neighborhood, the CDC created a list of job openings at local businesses and promoted it to residents on job boards, in public spaces, and on social media. We also assisted local businesses with grant opportunities and connected them to free business improvement training through the Community College of Philadelphia’s Power Up Your Business program. Thanks to all of the hard work that’s been put into the neighborhood the vacancy rate along Torresdale Avenue continued to decline in 2021, and long-vacant commercial spaces are in the process of being renovated for new businesses!
All of the accomplishments of the past year could not have been done without our partners, sponsors, friends, and neighbors. Thank you to everyone who took the time to assist us in working towards a clean, safe, beautiful, and economically strong Tacony! Find out about our ongoing projects and the brand new ones that are sure to come in 2022 on our website and social media. To participate in one of our programs, get assistance for your local business, or talk about the changes you’d like to see in the neighborhood, contact the Tacony Community Development Organization by phone at 215-501-7799 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.