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City of Philadelphia

Revitalizing Corridors

As part of the Department of Commerce’s larger efforts, the Office of Neighborhood Economic Development uses a variety of strategies to revitalize and strengthen neighborhood commercial areas.

The City supports and works with community organizations who engage in research and planning activities, perform marketing studies targeted to neighborhood commercial revitalization and blight elimination, and increase the availability of retail goods and services. These organizations also support their neighborhood businesses with marketing, financing, and educational workshops.

Storefront Improvement Program

This program reimburses owners of commercial buildings and businesses within designated commercial corridors who make storefront improvements. The program can reimburse up to 50% of the cost of eligible improvements to a maximum of $10,000 for a single commercial property, or up to $15,000 for a multiple-address or corner business property.

To find out whether your property qualifies and contact Giana Lawrence at 215-683-2017 or Email

Read about the impacts of this program in the 2015 Storefront Improvement Program: Economic Impact Analysis

Streetscapes, Corridor Beautification, and Corridor Cleaning

The City provides funding to undertake design and construction of streetscape improvements for neighborhood commercial corridors around the City. These projects typically include enhancements such as new curbs and sidewalk, lighting upgrades, street trees and landscaping, and street furniture including Big Belly solar trash compactors, benches, and bike racks.

To find out if improvements are planned for your neighborhood corridor, contact Denis Murphy at 215-683-2039.

Business Improvement District (BID) Support

All across the city, BIDs have a tremendous impact in maintaining and enhancing the vitality of the areas they serve. BIDs provide a way for property owners and businesses to cooperate to keep their areas competitive. Creating a BID is a serious effort that requires cooperation among businesses, property owners, public officials, and other community stakeholders.

This guide outlines each step of the BID formation process, describes how to evaluate whether creating a BID might make sense, and offers guidelines on how to create a successful new BID, cost-efficiently and time-effectively. 

Groups considering creating a BID for their commercial area should contact Denis Murphy at 215-683-2039 or before taking the steps outlined here. A Commerce staff person can orient you to the BID formation process and help you determine whether a BID might be feasible.

Commercial Corridor & Main Street Management

Vibrant commercial corridors or “Main Streets” contribute to strong neighborhoods. They provide a place to work, shop, and meet your neighbors. What strong corridors have in common is a corridor manager that provides assistance to businesses, brings planning and resources to the corridor, oversees activities to make the corridor clean and safe, and works to attract new businesses to the area. The City supports the redevelopment of commercial corridors by providing funding to Community Based Development Organizations to hire Corridor Management Staff. Funding for Corridor Managers is awarded through a competitive Request for Proposals process.

Sign up for email alerts to find out about Department of Commerce Request for Proposals. For more information about our Corridor Management Program, contact Joanne Celestin at 215-683-2175 or Karen Fegely at 215-683-2026.

Economic Development Strategies for Commercial Areas

Some important commercial areas in the City need planning to develop an implementation strategy, an organizational structure, and financing framework. Department of Commerce staff will initiate or participate in these types of planning efforts in partnership with Community Groups to create momentum for revitalization. Some areas where Commerce staff have recently been involved in this type of strategic planning and intensive engagement are 52nd Street, Broad and Erie, and Germantown and Lehigh.

If you are interested in speaking with Commerce staff to determine what your corridor needs to grow, please contact Karen Fegely at 215-683-2026 or H. Ahada Stanford at 215-683-2171.

Business Improvement District (BID)

A BID is a legal mechanism for property owners and businesses in a defined geographic area to jointly plan and put in place a sustainable funding source that can pay for a set of services to improve their area. BIDSs are also referred to as "Neighborhood Improvement Districts" and "Special Service Districts."

Staff Contacts