Arts Grants Doled Out By City of Philadelphia

The City of Philadelphia awarded $500,000 in Creative Industry Workforce Grants to a number of great projects, see full article here, list below:

Connection Training Services - $60,000
2243 W. Allegheny Street (North Philadelphia)
Creation of the North Philadelphia Creative Arts Center and Gallery at the Allegheny Business Center, an arts incubator for ex-offenders

Crane Old School, LP - $100,000
1425 N. 2nd Street (Kensington)
$1.7 million conversion of an historic school into multi-tenant artist and commercial arts space, including the new Pig Iron Theater School

Octo Enterprises Incorporated - $100,000
2214-14 Alter Street (Point Breeze)
Industrial building renovation and expansion for new artist workspace

Olney Cultural Collaborative - $20,000
An initiative of the North 5th Revitalization Project, a program of the Korean
Community Development Services Center (Olney)
Office renovation for neighborhood cultural programming initiative

Revolution Recovery - $40,000
7333 Milnor Street (Northeast)
Artist workspace and office space at recycling facility for a new artist in residency program.

Underground Arts at the Wolf Building - $50,000
340 N. 12th Street Associates, LP (Callowhill)
Creation of a Multi-disciplinary Arts Venue

Vox Populi - $30,000
319 N. 11th Street (Callowhill)
Creation of multi-disciplinary performance venue and additional artist studios

2215 East Tioga Street Gallery & Studios - $100,000
2215 East Tioga Street (Kensington)
Rehabilitation to create an art gallery and sculpture garden

Walkable Neighborhoods Are More Expensive For A Reason

Check out your neighborhood's Walk Score.

CHICAGO (MarketWatch) -- Homes located within walking distance of amenities such as schools, parks and shopping aren't only more convenient for their owners, often they're also worth more than homes in neighborhoods where driving is the rule, according to a new study released Tuesday.

The report looked at 94,000 real-estate transactions in 15 markets. In 13 of those markets, higher levels of "walkability" were directly linked to higher home values...

Coalition Working to Get Google to Install Gigabit Network in Philadelphia

Just read about the Gigabit Philly initiative on Technically Philly (a great blog and group btw) - Gigabit Philly is a:

massive collaboration between city government, the grassroots tech and creative communities, and hundreds of organizations and individuals, all with one simple goal: to make Philadelphia the world's first-ever gigabit city

Check out the site here to learn more and to submit your ideas on what could be done with that network here in Philadelphia.

Brewerytown Gets Honorable Mention In Philadelphia Magazine Real Estate Issue

The new issue of Philadelphia Magazine on best neighborhoods to live in mentions Brewerytown as a great place to live on par with Graduate Hospital. Here is a link.

We Are Looking For a Few Good Tacos

MM Partners in partnership with the Girard Coalition and The Merchant Fund is looking to entice a mexican restaurant to come join Mugshots in the W Girard Avenue retail renaissance.

We have a few renovated storefronts on W. Girard Avenue in Brewerytown that are ideal locations and will provide a generous fit out package along with potential grant money to assist a business owner with the upfront costs. There is real demand for a mexican restaurant and we are committed to helping make it a reality. Please contact us if you are interested.

For everyone else, please stay tuned as we will keep you up to date on our progress.

Here is the Press Release issued today and it was already covered on Foobooz and Phoodie


CONTACT: Angel Coleman
Executive Director, Girard Coalition, Inc.

Girard Avenue Seeking Mexican Restaurant
Grant Funding Available
The Girard Coalition, Inc., is partnering with MM Partners, LLC and The Merchant’s Fund to attract a Mexican restaurant to West Girard Avenue in Brewerytown. The restaurant should offer authentic Mexican cuisine, and be willing to serve a lunch and dinner crowd. This opportunity would be ideal for a restaurateur looking to open a second location on a growing commercial corridor.
The location is between Brewerytown and Fairmount, just minutes from the Art Museum, Fairmount Park, the new Westrum development (Brewerytown Square), the Philadelphia Zoo and I-76.
MM Partners, LLC is a real estate development, management and construction company committed to the revitalization of the West Girard corridor. They have several mixed-use properties for lease. MM has recently signed a lease with Mugshots Coffee House & CafĂ© for 2831 W Girard. The Mexican restaurant will be housed in one of MM’s available commercial spaces, and they will provide a generous tenant improvement package to sweeten the deal. Visit their website for more information.
The Merchants Fund is a Philadelphia charity established in 1854 to provide charitable gifts to business persons facing financial hardship. Their mission is to provide financial assistance to current and past merchants in Philadelphia. They will provide a small grant to help develop the Mexican restaurant. Grants are competitive. New ventures are not qualified only expansion projects of businesses with at least a three year track record in an existing retail location. The Next deadline for considerations is Friday, April 30, 2010 (postmarked). Visit their website for more information about their products and services.
The Girard Coalition, Inc is 501c3 nonprofit organization with a mission to revitalize the Girard Avenue corridor between I-95 and the Philadelphia Zoo. We partner with neighborhood groups, businesses and political leaders to improve the quality of life in the Girard Avenue community. Our primary focus is business development and attraction. Visit our website for more information.

More on Detroit's Urban Farming Plan - Model for Other Cities?

Detroit seems to be moving forward with plans to demolish huge portions of the city to get rid of areas that are nothing but wastelands. The idea is to move the remaining residents out of the desolate areas of the city into areas that are still viable. The vacant land will then be turned over to Hantz Farms to create a huge urban farm - creating jobs, generating taxes, bringing fresh food to the inner city and creating tourism. This has been getting a lot coverage lately in business magazines as Hantz will be a for profit farm.

Check out a few stories:

Grist Magazine
Fortune Magazine
Fast Company
Hantz Farms Home Page

Great Piece About the Strengths of Philadelphia's Art Scene

For MM Partners' part, we have applied for a grant to build studio space at 2617-19 W Girard. Here's a sample from the article, good quotes from the chief of the NEA, but go read the whole thing.
..."I don't know how many times I've said it in the last few months: 'We've got to look at what they're doing in Philadelphia,' " Landesman told about two dozen arts administrators and city officials at the Crane building in the 1400 block of North American Street... "This seems to me to be really where the creative economy is happening," Landesman said of Philadelphia. "We need to be in places where there's already some real momentum because we want to be successful." ...