For over 25 years, SGCDC has worked to revitalize and historically restore blighted/substandard properties, and to stimulate economic development, on and near our Commercial Corridors.. It has developed or partnered with developers for the vibrant redevelopment of properties that the SGCDC owned on/near Fairmount Ave. It works with individuals looking to open a new business in Spring Garden, and existing business owners seeking a new or additional site for their enterprise. The SGCDC also has a dedicated team of professionals who assist businesses with zoning permits and variances, building permits, historical restoration, grant applications, publicity and promotion, community events, storage, safety and security issues, SGCDC facade grants, and many other matters.
In 2018, the SGCDC launched its first dramatic holiday, seasonal and year-round decorative lighting project to help promote our Corridors and Corridor businesses, and nearby cultural institutions. We installed a colorful 22' holiday tree at "The Triangle" at the intersection of N. Broad St., Ridge Ave., and Fairmount Ave., surrounded by mini-lighted street trees; 2 "light banners" reading (in blue lights) "Fairmount Ave." at both 15th St, and 25th St. on Fairmount Ave..; and over 50 illuminated hanging snowflakes on the entire length of Fairmount Ave. from N. Broad St. to the Parkway/Pa. Ave., and on the 1500 block of Spring Garden St. We also provided colorful storefront/property holiday decorations.
The project substantially increased Corridor foot traffic during the bleak winter months, provided a welcoming ambiance to business patrons and museum visitors, enhanced safety and aesthetics, helped to "brand" Fairmount Ave. as a "hip" place to visit, including with the colorful year-round light banners at both ends of the Avenue, and created a fun destination for local families to take a stroll with their children, do Photo Ops at the holiday tree and at businesses along the Avenue, and enjoy the festive sights.
In 2019, the lighting project was expanded to include illuminated snowflakes on all of Spring Garden St. west of N. Broad St., and on 2 blocks of Pennsylvania Ave., an additional 22' holiday tree at 25th St. and Fairmount Ave., and festive mini-lighted trees on the Fairmount Ave. side of the Art Museum's Perelman Building.
SGCDC also continues to provide, and expand, festive holiday storefront decorations and holiday lighting for Corridor businesses and other Corridor property owners.
In 2019-2020, SGCDC will be installing festive banners in Spring Garden, to celebrate our vibrant historic neighborhood, which dates back to the early 1800s. The banners will brighten and "brand" the area and help attract visitors to Spring Garden businesses and nearby cultural institutions.
For many years, SGCDC has provided Corridor sweeping and weeding, to assure that our main business areas are kept clean, tidy, weed-free, and attractive to residents, visitors, patrons of local businesses and cultural institutions, and would-be investors and business proprietors. A weed-covered, littered community deters investment and patrons, and gives the impression that the area is unsafe, "second rate," and a place to be avoided. By contrast, a clean and tidy neighborhood, that conveys a sense of care and attention, helps to attract new businesses, investors, and patrons for local establishments and cultural institutions. In 2019, SGCDC was awarded a Corridor Cleaning Grant by the Commerce Department to assist in these efforts.
SGCDC provides assistance to local businesses to restore their historic storefronts, through help with applications for City's Storefront Improvement Program ("SIP") grants, and SGCDC’s own supplemental historic facade restoration funding.
SGCDC plants and maintains Corridor street trees to provide an attractive, cool, green ambiance to the entire area. Dead trees are removed, and new ones planted. Trees are watered, trimmed, and mulched. Dead trees and treeless expanses give an impression of dereliction and neglect. Green tree-lined streets convey the impression of a community that is safe, well cared for, attractive, and a place one might want to visit.
Since 1999, the SGCDC has provided a community parking lot, green space and tot lot, at 22nd St. and Fairmount Ave., across the street from Eastern State Penitentiary, to serve the residential, business, and museum community of our area. The lot has helped fuel redevelopment in the abutting neighborhoods, has facilitated increased visitor attendance at Eastern State and other cultural institutions, and supported a burgeoning restaurant and business community. The facility also supports events on the River Drives that bring patrons to our Corridor businesses to dine and shop.