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Philadelphia, PA

Girard Avenue was developed as one of Philadelphia’s major mixed use corridors, containing industrial, commercial, institutional and residential uses. Between Front Street and 34th Street, the Avenue runs through 13 distinct neighborhoods and is home to numerous historic institutions housed in impressive 19th century structures — including
Girard College, St. Joseph’s Prep and the Philadelphia Zoo. Girard Avenue and its surrounding residential neighborhoods were hard hit by the decline in Philadelphia’s
industrial base and its cohesive mixed-use character
steadily eroded. Girard Avenue today operates
as a series of disconnected commercial, institutional
and residential areas and, rather than providing the
backbone of the neighborhoods it connects, the Avenue
currently acts as a barrier prohobiting the benefits
of investment in one area from positively impacting
or encouraging reinvestment in others. The scheduled re-introduction of SEPTA trolley service is viewed as a potential
catalyst for investment and transit-oriented development that can help revitalize Girard Avenue and its adjacent neighborhoods.


Our firm prepared a grant application for the City that resulted in the reward of a $100,000 Transportation & Community Development Initiative grant for Girard Avenue. With LISC matching funds, the City retained a consultant
team that included Urban Partners to prepare the Girard Avenue Economic Development Plan. We completed a comprehensive market analysis that identified the development opportunities available within various
portions of the Avenue, identified development sites that respond to these market opportunities and created an implementation plan outlining immediate next steps and longer-term priorities and identifying required participants and funding streams. A critical priority project is a supermarket/garage development in the Fairmount neighborhood. We determined the feasibility of this project, established necessary space and parking (garage)
requirements, identified several interested independent operators and clarified the issues the City is currently addressing in site assembly, project financing and operator lease terms

Client: Philadelphia Empowerment Zone and Local Initiatives Support Corporation
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