After almost two years of planning and outreach, the Fishtown Kensington Area Business Improvement District passed its 45-day objection period and was approved by City Council on December 12, 2019.
The Business Improvement District (BID) includes Frankford Avenue from Delaware to Lehigh, Front Street from Poplar to Montgomery, and Girard Avenue from Front to Aramingo.
What is a BID?
A BID is a way property and business owners can work together to improve a commercial area. BIDs offer services like litter removal, security cameras, lighting, marketing, signage, street furniture, or visitor assistance that are beyond what the city can provide. There are 14 other BIDs in Philadelphia, including Aramingo Shopping District, Mayfair BID, and Port Richmond Industrial Development Enterprise.
The Fishtown Kensington Area BID has begun to meet with area property and business owners to assess needs and introduce the team. The board of directors includes three elected officials—Council President Darrell Clarke and Councilmembers Maria Quinones-Sanchez and Mark Squilla—and 12 members representing both residents and business or commercial property owners. Paul Kimport, owner of Johnny Brenda’s and The International Bar, is Board Chair. Marc Collazzo, formerly of Mayfair BID, was hired as Executive Director and began work on January 13.
The team also has met with the police and Fishtown Neighbors Association to discuss safety concerns and look at possible solutions for troubled areas of the district. The BID is currently evaluating proposals to increase street cleaning that will be implemented over the next several months. Streetscape and transit improvements, greening improvements and cleanups, and increased marketing for the district are also planned.
Who pays for this?
BID activities are funded by a special assessment paid by property owners on the business corridor. If you own a commercial property, you should have received your first assessment mailing in early January. If you live in a single-family home that you own, you are exempt. If you live in a part of a commercial building that you own, that portion is exempt.