The Nicetown CDC utilizes a resident centered approach to establish community economic development. It is a
holistic and strategic focus on Planning, Commercial Corridor Revitalization, and Affordable Housing:
• Portfolio Associates- Commercial Corridor Plan for Nicetown-2003
• Community Design Collaborative-Plan for a Neighborhood Center-2004
• Sherick Project Management Inc. - Putting The Nice Back In “The Town”-2006
• Community Design Collaborative-“Gateways & Bridges”-2008
The Nicetown CDC recognized early in their development that planning was an essential component to establishing community economic development. In order to fulfill their mission, goals and objectives, they prioritized planning which included an assessment of neighborhood assets and needs. In 2003, the Nicetown CDC was awarded a Planning grant from the Department Of Commerce which allowed them to develop their first plan, which focused primarily on Nicetown’s commercial corridor. Several other plans have since been developed by the NTCDC, intended to spur transit centered economic growth and development:
The NTCDC partners with PNC Bank to establish a “Homebuyer’s Club” which pre-qualifies first time homeowners, and educates them regarding budgeting and general maintenance of their home. The Nicetown CDC’s ongoing planning efforts have resulted in a "Clean & Safe" Initiative, designed to remove blight and incorporate basic security measures for residents and businesses. Nicetown’s corridor received new banners, businesses were assisted with facade improvements, and a regular maintenance plan was established. The Nicetown CDC collaborated with the Mural Arts Program in 2006 to engage the community for well over a year with a series of tile workshops which produced more than 100 ceramic tiles. In 2007, the tiles were mounted in two new murals and the walls surrounding the entrance of Nicetown Park, part of Mural Arts historic “My North Philly” project. These Nicetown CDC projects successfully engaged the community as active stakeholders. The NTCDC commercial corridor and gateway plan includes capital improvements such as new lighting and an amphitheater for Nicetown Park, as well as an innovative concept for a skate park at the Roosevelt Boulevard underpass. There is also a plan to establish a Business and Cultural Center on the corridor.
The NTCDC began to develop affordable housing in 2005, with 3 small residential units in the historic area of Nicetown. Since then, there has been a progressive effort to stabilize and improve the existing housing stock in Nicetown, beginning with the blocks that connect directly to the commercial corridor. This year, the NTCDC began its first “green” housing rehabilitation project, which will be ready for its first-time homebuyer in late summer of 2010. Presently, the NTCDC is engaged in its largest housing project to date-Nicetown Court, a low-income housing tax credit development project (LIHTC) which will yield 37 affordable rental units and 4,000 square feet of commercial space on the street level. This highly anticipated project has been well supported by the community as well as the City of Philadelphia. Scheduled for groundbreaking on August 5th, 2010 Nicetown Court has manifested as the catalyst to economic development in Nicetown.