ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PLAN: MAYFAIR COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION (CDC)

The Mayfair Community Development Corpora on (hereafter referred to as the “CDC”), in partnership with the Mayfair Business Improvement District (hereafter referred to as the “BID”), sets forth this memorandum as its statement of ac on for the benefit of the community of Mayfair, and to serve together. The focus of the CDC will be to strengthen the economic, social and physical fabric of Mayfair by:

1) Property Development

2) Community Building

3) Retail and Residential Recruitment

4) Events to highlight our neighborhood

 

The CDC will engage in several building blocks to meet the above goals, both on a short and long term basis, to draw on the strengths of Mayfair and to lead in the way of neighborhood revitalization.

This will be accomplished as follows:

 

RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT

The CDC seeks to bring new “life” to both the commercial and residential property markets in Mayfair.

1) CONSERVATORSHIP ACT (ACT 135): Act 135 allows an entity like the CDC to bring a cause of ac on in a court of competent jurisdiction to take control of a blighted, vacant property (or vacant lot), in order to rehabilitate and bring it back into productive use. This act, which the CDC has used on four (4) separate real properties throughout Mayfair, removes an “eyesore” from an otherwise good block; resolves any liens and outstanding taxes owed to the City of Philadelphia, as well as provides for a reliable source of real estate tax payments moving forward; and allows for the family to obtain a new home in Mayfair. This legislative tool can also be used for commercial properties. Using the non-profit entity of Scioli Turco, who was established only to bring these ac ons, the CDC simply has to identify real properties (or lots) to bring to Court, and Scioli Turco will provide the attorney, labor and costs of litigation. New CDC director Marc Collazzo helped draft this legislation, and its 2014 Amendment (HB 1363) making him
particularly qualified to be able to identify qualified parcels so that the CDC can maximize our efforts.

In selling a residential property, the CDC will stress family owned and occupied properties. The purpose of same is to ensure market stability, as well as welcoming people who want to set up roots in Mayfair.

 

2) HOUSING COUNSELING

In addition to helping people obtain real estate in Mayfair, the CDC must provide services to our existing owners/occupants to keep them in Mayfair. Commencing on or about July 9, 2018, the CDC and BID will partner with the New Kensington Community Development Corpora on (CDC), to provide housing counseling services at the Mayfair Community Center, 2990 St. Vincent Street, Second Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19149. Specifically, counselors will provide guidance and advice to people in mortgage/loan default situations, as well as counseling to first-time property buyers.

 

3) PROPERTY OWNERSHIP

The CDC must pursue all avenues to generate revenue in order to expand the breadth of its vision. A long-term goal would be for the CDC to purchase residential properties, work with Scioli Turco or local developers to rehabilitate, then flip them for family owned and occupied residents. We can build a profit while also strengthening our home-ownership mission. There are Commonwealth grants available to assist with such projects so as to minimize the CDC’s cost. In addition, by obtaining lots in designated locations, we can create green and/or community spaces for the benefit of all Mayfair residents.

Please note that our mission in reference to real estate development must include constant collaboration with Federal, State and Local agencies to control and enhance growth. In addition, the Executive Director will meet on a monthly basis with a selected group of real estate agents and developers in order to discuss available properties in our community, coordinate development plans, and bring potential buyers to these available properties. The goal is to not only keep existing residents, but to bring new ones to Mayfair.

 

4) VACANT PROPERTY UPDATE

The CDC will set forth a “call to ac on” to Mayfair residents to report any and all vacant properties in the neighborhoods and any issues/problems associated with same. The CDC will take any and all ac on to assist, including, but not limited to, contacting the necessary regulatory agencies, such as the Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I), as well as our elected officials, to remediate these issues. This will also include dealing with “nuisance properties” and the improper activities of the occupants. Finally, the CDC, in the appropriate instances, will take ac on to bring these properties back into productive use, by way of purchase of Act 135. All reported properties will be compiled into a report placed on the CDC’s website listing all ac on(s) taken and the outcome. This list will be updated on a weekly basis. The CDC staff will also compile a list of the constituent(s) who made the complaints so as to keep them, and the community, up to date.

 

COMMERCIAL DEVELOPMENT

The Mayfair CDC, in partnership with the BID, must further business development in order to create jobs and promote wealth. We can do so by helping existing businesses, as well as start-ups and entrepreneurs, find the tools and resources they need to flourish. This can be reached as follows:

1) MAYFAIR BUSINESS ASSOCIATION

The CDC, through the Mayfair Business Association, will hold monthly meetings to hear concerns, discuss plans for growth, obtain leads for business outreach, and provide advocacy for these economic enties to the relevant Federal, State and local agencies. All Mayfair businesses can join, including businesses contained within the BID. However, non-BID members will pay an annual fee of $125.00, while BID memberships are free. Please note that besides the services listed above, the CDC must use these dues/fees to provide agreed-upon services to businesses not within the BID. These services can include, for example, provided sidewalk/street sweeping/cleaning services at the non-BID business locations on a weekly basis.

 

2) MAYFAIR TAVERN ASSOCIATION

The CDC, in partnership with the BID, will form a “Mayfair Tavern Association” for all bars/taverns in Mayfair to provide advocacy, guidance, assistance and collaboration between these entities. The Association will work to promote these establishments and strengthen the “nightlife” in Mayfair. This Association will meet every sixty (60) days and membership will be free.

 

3) BUSINESS LENDING/FUNDING

The Mayfair CDC will partner with the BID to become a funding source to provide bridge loans to business (i.e. storefront improvement), as well as to first-time home buyers. This will be accomplished through a collaboration with the Commerce Department and/or financial  institution (i.e. Finanta), to route lending funds through the CDC for the designated applicants.

In order to further the goals listed above, the CDC will maintain an inventory of all vacant properties and retail spaces. The CDC will also meet with existing, or prospective, business owners to provide guidance and assistance in funding necessary funding.

 

COMMUNITY BUILDING

The CDC recognizes the importance of community input and engagement to guide future development.

Accordingly, the CDC will foster a relationship of open communication with Mayfair residents and property owners by way of social media, newsletters, website inquiries (the CDC will establish a page on www.mayfairphilly.com/ ), and, most important, community meetings on a quarterly basis.

The CDC will seek to create a quarterly newsletter for community residents to read updates related to our initiatives and to see their impacts. The newsletter will strengthen the bond between residents and their community. Contact information for our director will give them a valuable resource for both addressing quality of life concerns and for voicing new ideas. The CDC can use this newsletter as a source of revenue, selling advertising space to local businesses.

The CDC’s plan for a workforce development program will offer employment skills training to neighborhood young adults. Examples of employment skills include how to prepare and ace a job interview, how to write a professional resume and how to communicate effectively. Connecting neighborhood residents with local employers will also be a key objective of the workforce development initiative.

 

EVENTS

The CDC recognizes the need to promote the Mayfair community, and will do so with a series of events to highlight the assets of Mayfair, and to market the community. These activites will include, but are not limited to, the Mayfair Night Markets, the Mayfair May Fair and Fallen Heroes Run, the Mayfair Christmas Village, and the Mayfair-Holmesburg Thanksgiving Parade.

 

CLEANING & GREENING

The CDC shall maintain on staff Jim Berghaier, who is responsible for cleaning the corridors of Rowland Ave, Rhawn St, Lexington Ave and Ryan Ave, collectively known as the Lincoln Loop. Jim collects and disposes of trash and pulls weeds from the sidewalk and curbs to ensure that the many locals who walk, jog and bike the Lincoln Loop have a pleasant experience. Additionally, Jim has a full set of graffiti removal tools at his disposal that he uses to quickly remove and rectify vandalized surfaces throughout the community.

The CDC shall explore op ons to enhance street cleaning throughout the neighborhood. Short term, this includes advertising the Mayfair Clean-up Committee, a core group of volunteers who clean playgrounds and select residential streets on an as-needed, as-available basis. Long term, this includes the purchase of a street sweeper to efficiently maintain clean sidewalks and curb lines on heavier traveled streets not already covered by the BID’s street cleaning contract; for instance: Co man Ave, Levick St, Robbins St, Rowland Ave and Brous Ave.

 

FUNDING

The Mayfair CDC, in addition through the matching program with the Philadelphia Commerce Department, will vigorously pursue additional revenue/funding through activity grants, sponsorships, fund-raisers and asset ownership.

The Mayfair CDC and Mayfair BID will work together to meet, communicate and fulfill its mission to promote, grow and enhance the Mayfair community, its residents, property owners, business leaders, employees, and patrons that come to our great neighborhood.

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