Posted on: November 7, 2013
The American Street Corridor, an area in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia, has been blighted and barren for decades. The area was once alight with industry, beginning in the late 1800’s when the Reading and Philadelphia Railroads routed through the area, spurring a lively commercial strip filled with factories and repair shops, freight yards and tens of thousands of busy workers. But all of that is gone and has been for quite some time. American Street has been the badlands for decades, a place you simply didn’t go.
Around 20 years ago, Philadelphia was awarded a grant through the Empowerment Zone program for $79 million. The money was split between blighted, post-industrial zones in West and North Philly and the American Street Corridor. The money has been budgeted annually to foster business growth in the area, slowly building the area back. The American Street Empowerment Zone boundaries are Girard Avenue to the south, 6th Street to the west, over Dauphin Street, and up 4th Street, to the north by Lehigh Avenue, and to the east by Kensington Avenue down to Front Street, along Norris Street and down Frankford Avenue.
Recently, this corridor, which lies adjacent to real estate hot-spots Fishtown and Northern Liberties, has benefitted from the growth of its borders. Everyone from tech companies to coffee roasters are popping up in the area.
Recently, a number of residential developments seem to be in the works, which is an exciting development for the corridor. Could this mean the American Street Empowerment Zone could be poised to be the next great Philly neighborhood? Stay Tuned!