Happy New Year! At the Tacony Community Development Corporation we’re celebrating the start of 2023 and looking back on all of the great things that happened in Tacony in 2022. 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!
The TCDC welcomed a new executive director and corridor manager, James McCrone—me—in May of this year, and we moved offices to the historic Music Hall building at the corner of Longshore and Edmund Streets in July. I have worked in downtowns and neighborhood commercial corridors for 20+ years, most recently at the 9th Street/Italian Market; and I’m very excited to be working with you in Tacony.
We are hard at work on a new five-year strategic plan for the Tacony district, and we’ve been inspired by the support and responses to our questionnaires and workshops. We held a “SWOO” meeting and workshop (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Obstacles) in late October, which will also help as the TCDC board charts the course and identifies goals for the next five years. As part of that strategic process, we have also looked at historic preservation and development, and we’re in the final stages of a new market analysis, which will help us identify and recruit businesses that are needed along the Torresdale Avenue corridor.
To maintain a clean area, we continued our partnership with the “Men in Blue” at Ready, Willing & Able, who continue to clean Torresdale Avenue regularly on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. The CDC also continued to address corridor maintenance issues like illegal dumping, graffiti, building maintenance, and abandoned vehicles. We regularly attend Police Department and PDAC meetings, along with Tacony Civic Assoc. members and neighbors, to give voice to the issues of Tacony. 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 was awarded a grant to install cameras with license plate readers at key intersections along Torresdale. With more to come!
This year, we continued to focus on the design and beautification of the Tacony neighborhood. The CDC completed facade lighting projects and improved a number of storefronts. We also continued to maintain the trees along Torresdale Avenue, Artist Mat Tomeszeko, working with the Tacony LAB, Mural Arts and the building owner also brought some beauty to Tacony with a new mural on the Edmund Street side of the newly, beautifully renovated building at 4823 Longshore. The historic aspects and heritage of our neighborhood has been featured in talks, walking tours and as the cover story on the Preservation Alliance’s magazine, Extant.
The Tacony CDC continued its new-home marketing campaign: “Picture Yourself Here: Make Tacony Home.” 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” summer program at the Tacony library, where a growing number of kids joined us in STEM, literacy, and enrichment activities.
We partnered with The Block Gives Back’s very successful Back-to-School Block Party on Torresdale Avenue. Our partners at the Tacony Library, Mike Driscoll’s office and others helped us stage a wonderfully scary Halloween/Harvest Fest event, with music, a haunted basement, dance and a not-to-be-missed costume contest. We also promoted local businesses with “business spotlights” on our blog and social media, and celebrated “Small Business Saturday” this holiday season. (And make sure to watch our newsletter and social media pages for upcoming video tours of Tacony businesses!)
Costello’s Boxing Club gym opened on November 12, and it has already begun to activate a crucial corner for the Torresdale Avenue corridor. We are looking forward to a new bakery (House of Bread!) at the former De Nofa’s Deli site. They’re in the midst of renovations and are slated to open in the spring of ’23. Thanks to all of the hard work that’s been put into the neighborhood, the vacancy rate along Torresdale Avenue continues to decline in 2022, and some long-vacant commercial spaces are in the process of being renovated for new businesses!
2022 marked the beginning of the second decade of the modern version of the Tacony Community Development Corporation. 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. All of the accomplishments this past year could not have been done without our partners, sponsors, friends, and neighbors.
Thank you to everyone who took the time to help us towards a clean, safe, beautiful, and economically strong Tacony!
Find out about our ongoing projects and the brand new ones coming in 2023 on our website and social media. We’ve even launched an Instagram account (@taconycdc) that focuses on unique architectural details in Tacony.
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 Corporation by phone at 215-856-3029 or send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.