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Philly Facade Fanatics

  • Hard to pick just one! Valley Green Bank received our Best Overall award.

At our recent Storefront Challenge awards celebration, The Merchant Fund’s Patricia Blakely likened a new facade to a new dress that "looks good and gets you noticed." The Collaborative’s Robin Kohles confessed that she’s a storefront fanatic. And Deputy Mayor Alan Greenberger sensibly reminded everyone that small businesses are essential to Philadelphia.

The Storefront Challenge was created by the Collaborative and the Commerce Department to praise successful storefront facade improvements in the city and set the stage for more. This year's challenge attracted 80 nominations and presented awards to 18 store owners and one "Corridor Catalyst." For the full winners' gallery, see Next City's  Before & After Photos: Pretty Philly Storefront Makeovers.

Alexis Stephens of Next City noted the serious business behind these facades, "It wasn't uncommon to hear the kinds of ooohs found at a successful fashion show... But the mix of people present—CDC staffers, Commerce Department higher-ups, store owners, architects, artisans, and so on, was constant reminder that more was happening here than style."

Ashley Hahn of Plan Philly caught the spirit of change and revival in the crowd, "a great storefront is a vote of confidence—in a quality business, in a block, in a community." See Fresh Faced: 2014 Storefront Challenge honors.

Dan Geringer of the Philadelphia Daily News focused on just one facade renovation story, Dumpster Door Inspires Powelton Makeover. And we see a sampling of some of the 15 storefront renovations facilitated by Corridor Catalyst Alex Balloon along Tacony's Torresdale Avenue Commercial Corridor.

One of the over 100 people at the Storefront Challenge Party? Find your photo on Flicker!
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