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Market Street Revitalization
January 12, 2010, Volume 56, No. 17

Market Street in University City is getting a facelift. Work began in November on a project to revitalize the streetscape on Market from 34th to 41st Streets. The University City Science Center is overseeing the project which is expected to take seven months to complete. The project was initially conceived by the University City District (UCD) as a way to improve the 40th and Market area. UCD then worked with the University City Science Center to expand the project to its current scope. The project is funded by property owners and landlords along the targeted area of Market Street and a $2 million grant from the City of Philadelphia’s ReStore Philadelphia Corridors program.

The goals of the Market Street Revitalization Project are three-fold and focus on sustainability, streetscape and safety:

• Increase the green footprint of the Market Street Corridor with an emphasis on sustainable approach

• Overall improvements to roads, pedestrian walkways, lightings, street signage

• Provide a safer neighborhood for residents and students

“Not only will this project improve the look, feel and safety of Market Street along the Avenue of Technology, but it will also boost the image of Philadelphia by providing a more conducive environment to attract high-quality research institutes and private companies to locate here, ” said Dr. Stephen S. Tang, president and CEO of the Science Center. “By this summer, this area will sport new pedestrian lighting, new sidewalks and new plantings. It’s all part of our strategy to make this section of Market Street an inviting place to work, live and play. We thank the City of Philadelphia, the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission—and especially Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell—for their strong support.”

“University City is well positioned to continue to be an economic growth engine for Philadelphia and the region, and Market Street holds great promise as University City’s pre-eminent growth corridor,” said University City District Executive Director Matt Bergheiser. “This project helps lay the groundwork for a vibrant, walkable boulevard, anchored by the Science Center and other world-class knowledge institutions and high-potential businesses.”

“Market Street is the longest commercial corridor in West Philadelphia,” said Councilwoman Jannie L. Blackwell. “We are overjoyed to provide the major funding for this project. This partnership with the Science Center and the University City District will stimulate investment that directly affects the revitalization of West Philadelphia.”

“At the City, we’re focused on strong corridors as the building blocks of strong neighborhoods, and Market Street is a critical location for West Philadelphia and the entire City, said Alan Greenberger, Acting Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development and Director of Commerce, and Executive Director of the Planning Commission. “We’re proud to see that the partnership created here with the Science Center, the University City District, and a whole range of City departments, from Commerce to Planning, Streets, and beyond has worked as it should, producing a plan for safer, more vibrant, and inviting streetscape. This is just the kind of productive public investment we’re after—one that sets the stage for job creation and the revitalization of whole sections of the city.”

Project partners include: City of Philadelphia Department of Commerce, Department of Streets, Planning Commission; Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell; the University City Science Center; Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation; The Partnership CDC; University City District; KS Engineers; Maven Inc.; Wells Appel and landlords and building owners along the targeted area.

Almanac - January 12, 2010, Volume 56, No. 17