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What's Happening in:  Passyunk Square 

PARC facade program starts in Sept. with 5 businesses

Starting in September, you’re gonna see a whole lotta scaffolding going up on the Avenue. PARC executive director Sam Sherman said that his nonprofit will be contributing $100,000 toward a new facade improvement program of avenue businesses. The first will be Mamma Maria, followed by Sermania Jewlers, B2, Avenue Cheese and Today’s Styles.

Yikes! Hideous

Here’s how the program works: Building owners are applying in tandem to an existing city-sponsored facade improvement program that pays up to $8,000 for mid-block buildings and $12,000 for corner properties. But a complete façade renovation is often cost prohibitive because it could run $25,000 or more for larger buildings. So, the building owners chip in a percentage of the total renovation budget, add their contribution to the city funding, and PARC covers the remainder.

So thanks to those two extra funding streams, building owners who wouldn’t be able to pay for a complete reno get better looking storefronts and neighbors don’t have to look at crappy, crumbling stucco. Everybody wins, especially since the renovations will take care of some of the ugliest properties. We’re looking at you, Avenue Cheese Shop.

Architects are meeting now with the building owners. PARC gets input through the end to ensure that the final product is up to the standards of the recent renovations of their own buildings. Remember what the South Philly Comics building used to look like, with that weird purple gate?

The hope is to get the first five finished by the end of the year, then renovate five more per year. That’s right, Sherman’s thinking long-term. Way to go, sir.

Check out all these before shots, imagine them in black and white in an infomercial:
Of all of them, this is the least in need
I wonder what the name is
Rusted sign
This whole behemoth is getting the PARC treatment, thank god

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4 Responses to PARC facade program starts in Sept. with 5 businesses

  1. David G August 20, 2012 at 1:38 pm #

    That’s great news!

  2. Anonymous August 20, 2012 at 8:04 pm #

    Uh, these aren’t all great but let’s not sanitize all of the original charm out of the entire avenue, ok? I’m all for some improvements, but if I wanted the Disneyland version of everything, I would move to the suburbs.

  3. LovePhilly August 20, 2012 at 8:47 pm #

    Of course this is good news, but as per usual, people have to crap all over it. See “anonymous” above.

    It’s called “Civic Pride,” anonymous. Have some, please. If you want to live in a s**thole, do it at home. But let’s make Philadelphia at least look tidy for the rest of us, OK?

  4. Anonymous August 29, 2012 at 6:44 pm #

    I couldn’t be happier about this. These facades aren’t charming in my opinion.

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