The North Broad Renaissance, a nonprofit that’s supporting revitalization efforts along North Broad Street, is gearing up to release its first State of North Broad report.
The report, which was completed in partnership with E-Consult, highlights significant growth and redevelopment opportunities — including more than $1 billion in development and an expected population growth by more than 24.8 percent by 2021.
“The report captures what to expect demographically wise in the future, the types of jobs that are going to be areas for growth on North Broad and where opportunities lie from a development standpoint,” said Shalimar Thomas, executive director of NBR.
“The 2016 State of North Broad report will help us understand the opportunities and challenges along North Broad Street from a broad perspective. It also helps us understand exactly what we need to do as a community to build on those opportunities and address those challenges.”
The report will be released during a 2016 State of North Broad event which will be held Thursday 6-9 p.m. at the Pennsylvania Convention Center North Broad Atrium.
The event features a master talk with City Council President Darrell Clarke, who has advocated for investment in the North Broad corridor. During the master talk, Clarke will address why he decided to invest in NBR.
According to the report, North Broad and its surrounding community is home to about 48,354 residents and 1,471 businesses.
Research shows that more than 4,000 crimes took place along North Broad Street in 2015. This major thoroughfare has a 14.3 percent vacancy rate, and 46 percent of the population makes less than $35,000 a year. In conjunction with the State of North Broad report, NBR’s community-based, five-year strategic plan highlights this and examines opportunities for improvement.
Last summer, the organization announced its five-year plan to revitalize the stretch of North Broad Street between City Hall and Germantown Avenue.
“The implementation of the North Broad Renaissance 2020 Vision will work to revitalize communities, culture and commerce in a neighborhood that has a rich historic background,” Kenneth Scott, board chair of NBR, said in a news release.
“We have developed a plan, and now we are eager to begin the work, with the help of partners and supporters who will help us reach our shared goals for the community.”
Creating a cleaner and safer North Broad Street is one of the goals established in NBR’s strategic plan. NBR has employed crews to clean up the corridor. Last month, cleaning crews collected more than 4,000 pounds of trash from the area. The organization will be launching an anti-litter campaign in 2017.
NBR is working on plans to turn a vacant lot on Broad Street near Lehigh Avenue into an urban garden. The organization also seeks to launch a camera program on the corridor.
“We understand that clean and safe is the foundation for economic development,” Thomas said.
“People feel like if it is cleaner, it is safer and it is prettier then they may be more willing to locate their businesses there. We want to get that together and then start the economic development efforts in attracting small businesses and professional services to North Broad.”
In November, NBR launched a capital campaign to raise $1.75 million in order to accomplish the goals set forth in its five-year strategic plan. The capital campaign will be highlighted during the State of North Broad event.