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$200k in targeted fašade improvements coming to Frankford Ave.

Thanks to a number of public funding sources and the efforts of Councilwoman Maria Quinones-Sanchez, the entire 4600 block of Frankford Avenue is set to receive $200,000 in targeted façade improvements as part of the Commerce Department’s Storefront Improvement Program.  The funds are allocated, business owners have signed on, contract bids are out, and work is set to begin in earnest in January. 

“We want to make a big bang,” says Tracy O’Drain with the Frankford CDC. “That’s why we’re targeting the 4600 block of Frankford Ave.  It’s in the heart of the business district, has the highest concentration of businesses and has the potential to catalyze additional revitalization efforts nearby.” 

O’Drain says not every building will receive improvements because, quite simply, not all need it.  But for those that do, new awnings, windows, painting, signage and some good old façade scrubbing is how the money will be spent.  “We’re working with the business owners to identify exactly what they need and how best to utilize the funds we have.”    
O’Drain believes the most important aspect of the façade improvement program is its integral role in the much bigger effort to improve Frankford Avenue.  “Mural Arts is in the process of developing a series of murals along the Avenue, we’re in the process of rolling out an ‘art in vacant spaces’ initiative and since September, we’ve been implementing a commercial corridor cleaning program with funds from the Commerce Department,” she said.  “We know that a cleaner Frankford Avenue will lead to increased commerce and safety, and add to the sense of pride that we should all take in Frankford.”

The cleaning program is a one-time, yearlong event, so O’Drain and the CDC hopes to make the effort last and thinks the façade improvement initiative is a way to do that.  “In the future, the commercial corridor manager, Michelle Feldman, can use the façade improvements as an example of how other blocks can implement similar changes and keep the blocks clean for a more sustainable Frankford Avenue.” 

Source: Tracy O’Drain, Frankford CDC
WriterGreg Meckstroth
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