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Celebrating with Logan CDC

Last week, Logan Community Development Corporation announced a $100,000 planning grant from the Wells Fargo Regional Foundation and were received with warm sunshine and rounds of applause. The Collaborative was there to clap for Logan CDC. We assisted this relatively new community development corporation with one of its first big projects—a conceptual master plan for the North Broad Commercial Corridor.

Denise McGregor Armbrister, executive director of the Wells Fargo Regional Foundation, praised the Logan CDC, established in 2008, for quickly developing an inclusive, comprehensive and intelligent analysis of Logan's potential.

The Wells Fargo grant will support the direct expenses that are essential to the community planning process such as planning consultants and staff, neighborhood outreach and organizing, community meetings, and advisory group development. The consultant for Logan's plan will be local design and planning firm, Wallace Roberts and Todd.

North Broad: the Neighborhood's Spine

In an interview at last week’s kick-off for the planning grant, Cecily Peterson-Mangum reiterated the key role North Broad Street commercial corridor plays in the neighborhood and the  importance of filling vacancies and promoting local businesses.

Sylvia Okechukwu, Business District Manager for Logan CDC, and Karen Fegley,  Director of Office of Neighborhood Economic Development for the Commerce Department echoed Cecily's thoughts.  "I work with the Logan Business Association—we are trying to grow that right now, to stabilize the current businesses that are there, but also looking into bringing in new businesses," Sylvia said. "The Commerce department has been supporting Logan CDC for the past few years with a commercial Corridor Cleaning Grant. We are really thrilled that Wells Fargo is coming in with this planning grant that will leverage and continue the work that has been going on here," said Karen.

Then and Now

While taking the long view, Logan CDC is also implementing fun, short-term projects on the corridor. Last year, the community development corporation  worked with designers from PhilaNOMA to create a parklet on North Broad Street. Most recently, Logan CDC published Then and Now, a directory of North Broad Street businesses and institutions past and present. This mini-PR project was funded through a Pride of Place grant from the Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia.

The "Then” portion of the directory highlights Logan's rich cultural history as one of Philadelphia's first suburban neighborhoods.  The neighborhood was home to one of the first moving picture theaters in Philadelphia. Its still home to Jewish Hospital) now Einstein Healthcare Network), a spectacular Carnegie Library, and some cool historic signs.

The 'Now' portion lists Logan's current businesses. Organized by the retail category, Logan's shops present a promising foundation for renewal. If you’re ever in need of a sewing machine repair shop, Logan has two.

Reporting by Anooshey Rahim, Community Design Collaborative




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