When you walk around Philadelphia, there is no doubt that ours is a city on the rise. From the development boom in Center City and its surrounding neighborhoods to the city-wide population growth, especially in the millennials age group, Philadelphia is a place of opportunity.
The question is: how do we stay on this positive trend line?
We must continue to support the business community and to create an environment in which it is easy to do business. Business and Wage taxes are decreasing. City Council is looking at the city’s tax structure for potential reforms. We’ve got the ten-year tax abatement. We’re strengthening the city’s property assessment system. And, we’re working to streamline and support the development and zoning process in the city with changes to L&I and the launch of the new Office of Planning and Development.
As a District Councilman, I know that Center City is Philly’s economic hub, but strong economies start with strong neighborhoods. So, part of the solution is to also create development opportunities in outlying communities.
Recently, I was the guest speaker at the Development Workshop and I had the opportunity to paint a picture of the Northeast, its growth and its potential for more development.
The 6th District is changing for the better. We have new housing projects, businesses and community development plans already in the works.
Just look at Tacony. It has new businesses along its commercial corridor, including restaurants and a bakery – the first in decades. More than 22 storefronts have been updated with help from the City’s Storefront Improvement Program, a program that I fought to fund in the last budget cycle. The expansion of the Dietz & Watson facility, which included a land swap for a new waterfront park near the community of Bridesburg. Millions of dollars in other development projects are already in the pipeline, including two charter schools and a major library renovation. And, then there is the Tacony Disston Community Development District, a tax credit program for the rehabilitation of historic, income-producing buildings and for the renovation of non-historic buildings.
That’s just what’s happening in Tacony. There is also the Mayfair Business Improvement District (BID), the Philadelphia 2035 North Delaware District Plan and more. To put it simply, the 6th District is ripe for even greater investment and development.
When government supports business and businesses support the growth of neighborhoods in return, cities thrive and grow. That’s what I want for the Northeast and for all of Philadelphia.
I’m looking forward to continuing this conversation and a productive relationship with the Development Workshop.
Councilman Bobby Henon