We have reported on the success of Indio’s Auto Center before, but Indio’s and the amazing work being done on the 5th Street Commercial Corridor has been featured in Plan Philly’s Eyes on the Streets blog!
Small business, big impact: Funding for Philly’s neighborhood commercial corridors is critical for vibrant communities
The Equitable Development Platform released by PACDC this week advocates for expanding several programs that support economic growth on our neighborhood commercial corridors. As part of our ongoing election season op-ed series, the Community Design Collaborative’s Robin Kohles shares her firsthand experience on the power of modest investments and layered programs that help boost businesses, stabilize corridors, and strengthen neighborhoods citywide.
INDIO’S AUTO CENTER – NORTH 5TH STREET
Indio’s Auto Center is a second generation, family-run auto repair shop on the North 5th Street corridor in the Hunting Park neighborhood.Nueva Esperanza, Inc., the CDC charged with revitalizing the corridor, received public and foundation funding to add a corridor manager to its staff.
The corridor manager reached out to the owner of Indio’s to offer her a design consultation with the Collaborative to refresh its facade. Indio’s was then prepared to apply for grants to leverage the owner’s own investment. The Philadelphia Commerce Department’s Storefront Improvement Program, the Merchants Fund, and Nueva Esperanza helped to fill the gap in funding to give the garage its crisp, yellow new look.
After renovations were complete, Nueva Esperanza reports, business began to pick up and new customers started pulling in. In December 2013, the first full month following the renovation, Indio’s sales were nearly double their December 2012 levels. The trend continued in 2014, with monthly gross sales an average of nearly 50% higher than the previous year.
Together, Philadelphia’s commercial corridor programs have had a real impact. In many corridors throughout the city, there is a story to tell. The Storefront Challenge, an awards program recognizing the best in storefront facade improvements, has helped to capture some of these stories. Façade improvements on North 5th Street and Torresdale Avenue have convinced other business and property owners to invest in their buildings.
Read the full post here!