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PHILADELPHIA-Mayor John Street launched the ReStore Philadelphia Corridors program with an initial round of $21 million in funding. The program is a complement to the ongoing Neighborhood Transformation Initiative, and it was split among 36 neighborhoods.

Each was given between $200,000 and $2 million to help revitalize designated, individual commercial corridors throughout the city. The goal is “to re-establish their historic role as places to shop, work and meet neighbors,” Street said during an Oct. 15 press conference. “To have a city of promise for everyone, we should make huge investments in our city, and you can’t just do it in Center City.”

The city encompasses more than 170 neighborhoods. The NTI program has invested more than $300 million to remove blight and demolish decaying properties in order to spur construction of affordable and market-rate housing. Thanks to that investment, Street said, “there is really no such thing as an abandoned property in Philadelphia anymore.”

ReStore is seen as the next step. It is funded by a portion of a $150-million bond, approved by the city council a year ago and devoted to cultural and commercial corridors. “Residents want to be able to receive goods and services in their neighborhoods,” said Eva Gladstein, NTI director, during the conference.

The Philadelphia Industrial Development Corp. is managing the awards in conjunction with the city. Grants cover streetscape design and construction, including pedestrian and street lighting, the installation and/or repair of sidewalks, public signage and green space.

The lone $2-million grant is for the 3800-5200 Lancaster Ave. corridor. Others that received $1 million or more are: 1700-2300 Frankford Ave., South Street Headhouse, Girard Ave. between 25th and 31st streets, Frankford Avenue from Harbison to Cottman streets, Torresdale Avenue along the Harbison to Cottman stretch, the Margaret-Sellers stretch of Frankford Avenue, 2700-3100 N. Fifth St., and Germantown Avenue south of Coulter Street.

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