Posted on

Frankford Needs a Supermarket

There has been some talk about the Thriftway closing next year.  Rite Aid Has owned the property for several years and has opted to exercise its right to not renew the lease.  They plan to demolish the existing structure and build a new Rite Aid.  This will leave Frankford without a supermarket.

That is a big story in Frankford but it is only part of a larger picture.  The area around the FTC (Frankford Transportation Center) has been identified as the place most likely to attract developers.  They are the people who build things like shopping centers and housing.  The CDC has walked through the neighborhood with some of these guys and they all say the FTC is the place to start.  The CDC does not invest money to get these things done; they get developers interested in doing them.  That is part of their job.

So when news that SEPTA was going to do a construction project in the 5100 block of Frankford Avenue it sounded like an opportunity.  The project is to build a backup control center and also a break room for SEPTA FTC employees.  It would all on that empty space between Frankfod Ave. and Griscon between Pratt and Dyre.

Meetings were held, discussions between SEPTA and the CDC took place and some form of understanding that the community’s need for a supermarket at that location would be included in the project.

At the Frankford Business and Professional Association meeting on June 23, a SEPTA representative revealed that they are about to break ground on the project and there is no provision for space for a supermarket.

Kim Washington, The Executive Director of the CDC, went into action.  The SEPTA board was having a public meeting on Thursday, June 25th.  With only 2 days’ notice, she got 35 residents who agreed to attend the meeting with her. They met at the CDC office on Griscom Street all wearing pink shirts with the words “Stop Executing very Poor Thoughtless Action”.

The meeting began at 3PM and at 3:30 it was adjourned.  Washington rose to object saying she had to address the board.  She spoke for about 6 minutes which you will find at this link.

What followed was an hour long discussion between Francis Kelly, Assistant General Manager of Public & Government Affairs and Kim Washington, Gary McLaughlin, Jennifer Powell-Folks and Nashid Edwards speaking for Frankford.  The Frankford folks did a great job of making their case.IMG_1591

SEPTA says they cannot change their plans because they have already awarded contracts, Federal funding is approved for this location and project and any change could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to make.

Frankford argues that SEPTA is in this situation because of its own mistakes and should do the right thing to correct them.

SEPTA asks if the Rite Aid site is big enough for a Rite Aid and a supermarket.  It is big enough for the buildings but would not have room for parking.

SEPTA asks if the property on 5100 block of Griscom (presently employee parking between Griscom and Penn).  The property is but the streets are residential and not big enough for tractor trailer delivery.

Frankford proposes that the project be redesigned to make it a 2 story building with a supermarket on the ground floor and SEPTA use of the second floor.  SEPTA says this would be a major redesign that would cost a lot of money.

Frankford proposes that the SEPTA building go over on the lot with the new Rite Aid.  There is enough room for those two buildings.  SEPTA says the funding is for the building to go where it is planned to go and changing it will cost a fortune.

The lack of communication with the Frankford community is the real heart of the matter.  A SEPTA representative attends the Frankford Business and Professional Association meetings routinely but SEPTA maintains that they met their obligation of notifying the community by advising Philadelphia City Council and posting public notices in the newspapers about the project.  That does not sound like a solid community partnership.

While you might expect that from a corporation in the private sector, SEPTA is a public agency.

There was no resolution at the meeting but they did commit to meet again.  Further news will be forthcoming.

Posted on

Frankford CDC is Hiring

The Frankford CDC is committed to building on the assets of the Frankford community by providing ncreased job opportunities, building affordable homes, supporting the development of increased financial resources and growing stable businesses. 

Frankford’s Commercial Corridor is unique and diverse in its tenants. The qualified candidate will be expected to cultivate relationships with a diverse business/client base.  The Commercial Corridor manager serves as an intermediary between the Business Owners on Frankford Avenue and the City Departments and technical assistance providers.

Duties and Responsibilities:

–Maintain relationships/contacts with local businesses and business association

and other organizations serving the business corridor.

–Coordinate member recruitment efforts for the Business Association

–Respond to referrals and inquiries from potential clients and public officials.

–Establish quarterly newsletter for events involving the commecial corridor and other community events.

–Maintain resource library for businesses along with existing business database.

–Coordinate and execute all special events.

–Responsible for reporting all activities in the established format.

–Other duties as requested by Managing Director.


A bachelor’s degree is required; a master’s degree in urban planning, economic development, or related field is preferred.  A minimum of two years of community and development related experience preferred.  Volunteer/intern work experience will be considered in lieu of paid work experience.  Qualified candidate must work with a diverse population, exhibit strong written and verbal communication skills, be familiar with Microsoft Office.

To Apply Contact:
Kimberly Washington, Esq.
Executive Director
(215) 743 – 6580

Posted on

Focus on Frankford: Kim Washington

The Frankford Community Development Corporation (CDC) headed by Kimberly Washington, Esq. has been a major partner of Destination Frankford since its inception in 2013. Now coming off the recent grand opening of the Destination Frankford Art Gallery on April 19th, it’s time to catch up with Kim to see what’s next on the agenda.

Washington came to the CDC after three years as head of the Northeast EPIC Stakeholders cooperative. She is a native of Frankford, graduate of Frankford High School, with a law degree from Temple Law in 2009.

Kim Washington (right) with Councilwoman Sanchez at the Destination Frankford art gallery opening

Kim Washington with Councilwoman Sanchez at the Destination Frankford art gallery opening

After she passed the bar, she opted to use her degree in community service rather than go into practice.   She wanted to give back to the community in some way and that brought her to SCRUB (Society Created to Reduce Urban Blight). While working there she became aware that the EPIC Stakeholders had an opening working in Frankford and she applied and was accepted for the position.

The EPIC meets monthly in Frankford at the Second Baptist Church at 1801 Meadow Street for programs in support of families. Those meetings draw a good cross section of the community and it was at those meetings that I first saw Kim in action managing to let all parties be heard while at the same time moving the program forward.

When the CDC was going through a period of reorganization last year, she was tapped for the leadership role and began work in June of 2013. Although she had no background in community development, she has made the transition smoothly learning while getting the job done.

Development in Frankford is a challenge right now but some progress has been made on Griscom Street near Oxford Avenue. Washington worked out a deal to sell 4721 to an entity interested in using it for senior housing along with an adjacent city owned building. The properties have been vacant for years attracting squatters and the problems that come with them. Some legal hurdles remain to be cleared on the city property but when they are resolved, that intersection will be transformed.

The highlight of the past year has been working with the City Planning Commission and planner Ian Litwin on Destination Frankford. Starting from the lower Northeast district plan, Litwin applied for a grant to implement some of the concepts included in the plan. When a large grant from ArtPlace America was received, work began in earnest on implementing three concepts.

  • The idea to erect a sculpture in Womrath Park was the biggest. The artist has been selected and the proposed design is in its final approval process.
  • A pop up art Gallery located on Paul Street right off Frankford Avenue opened on April 19th. The location was selected because of its visibility and proximity to the El. It will be open Saturdays through July with three different exhibitions that will attract new visitors to Frankford.
  • Improvements to signage are in the design stage now. Signage helps create a sense of place in the community and reinforce its identity. The sculpture and new signage are expected to be completed by November of this year.

With the grant money received and well used, Washington intends to build on the Paul Street initiative. She has already obtained grant funding for a pop up park next to the art gallery, along with façade improvements and streetscaping for that same block.   Planning meetings for the design phase of the pop up park with the Community Design Collaborative began this month.

In addition to these projects, the CDC offers space at its offices at 4900 Griscom Street to the EPIC Stakeholders coordinator, the Neighborhood Advisory Committee (NAC) and the Frankford Parks Group. A public neighborhood computer lab is also headquartered at that location and sees daily use for residents on the job search sites.

Reflecting on the first almost completed full year at the helm, Washington says “My board has been absolutely great” a real resource with very active membership and it has been a great asset.

The community could say the same about Kim Washington, a great asset to the Frankford community.


Posted on

Frankford Has the NAC

Kimberly Washington, Esq.

Frankford has a knack for many things.  The Knack for weaving, brewing, football are all in the past.  What we are talking about today is a NAC aka Neighborhood Advisory Committee.  Our NAC came into being several months ago.

OHCD’s Neighborhood Advisory Committee (NAC) Program offers community-based non-profit organizations the opportunity to lead and engage neighborhood residents in activities that support the City’s core objectives, including:

  • Promoting sustainability through recycling, cleaning, planting and alternative energy efforts.
  • Creating employment opportunities through job placement and training, retail revitalization, and educational assistance efforts.
  • Enhancing neighborhood safety through town watches, youth mentoring and community outreach programs.
  • Providing decent and affordable housing through new housing, preservation of existing housing and mortgage foreclosure prevention programs.

Several Frankford community groups applied to become the NAC provider agency; however Impact Services (1952 E. Allegheny Avenue) was the applicant chosen by the OHCD.

Charlene Lewis-Walker

The coordinator of our NAC is Kimberly Washington, esq. and she is assisted by Charlene (Char) Lewis-Walker.  Since Kim also coordinates the Northeast EPIC Stakeholders meetings, you can expect close cooperation between NAC and EPIC in the future.

The NAC office is located in the Carson Valley Frankford Neighborhood Center at 4451 Frankford Avenue.  The phone number is 215-535-1093.

What has the NAC done so far in Frankford?

  • Charlene has been offering residents assistance with the Homestead applications
  • Monthly door to door (since March) to connect homeowners in foreclosure with the City’s Foreclosure prevention program
  • Housing and Utility Resource Fair which will be hosted in September
  • Char has also been a good resource working with homeowners who are interested in purchasing vacant side lots in the community
  • The students at First Philadelphia Charter have taken on the initiative of creating and publishing our newsletter.  The students are supervised by a teacher at the school his name is Rick Crain and also by Jim Stanton.
  • Charlene has already taken charge of the teen gardening group and has been hard at work this Summer at the community garden at Wilmot and Tackawanna

What will the NAC do for Frankford on a continuing basis?

  •  Provide information on various OHDC-funded programs to residents including but not limited to BSRP, Weatherization Program, Adaptive Modifications Program, Philadelphia Home Improvement Loan Program, PHIL-Plus, Mini-PHIL and other anti-predatory loan programs
  • Home-ownership Rehabilitation Program, Home start Program, Donor-Taker Program, Rental Rehabilitation Programs, housing counseling services, Settlement Assistance Program and American Dream Down payment Initiative (ADDI).
  • Homeowner Foreclosure Outreach – If you are in a foreclosure situation, contact the NAC to get information on what alternatives are available to you.  Foreclosure may be avoiding in some cases
  • Act as a referral center for community residents for all City Departments and programs relating to special services for groups such as senior citizens, the disabled and income-eligible youth
  • Oversee and assists in promoting programs designed to address various issues including literacy, truancy, youth violence, job training, and teen pregnancy. This will be accomplished through the NAC’s partnership with EPIC
  • Oversee and assists in the disposition of vacant land which may be developed as side yards, community gardens, parking lots or other open space through a program of open space management
  • Develop a current list of all block clubs and block captains in the area.

The introduction of the NAC in Frankford adds one more opportunity to move Frankford forward.   Stop into any time to see Char at the Carson Valley Frankford Neighborhood Center at 4451 Frankford Avenue and find out what the NAC can do for you.


Posted on

Northeast EPIC Stakeholders Meeting on 6/28

From Kim Washington:

Thank you to everyone who attend last month’s EPIC Stakeholder meeting.  For those who could not make it, please find the meeting minutes attached.  As usual, we have a full agenda of speakers and resource information to share with you.  Unfortunately, we don’t have our meeting space this month, so the meeting will be relocated to Campbell AME Church 1657 Kinsey Street, Phila, Pa. 19124.  We will still meet at our regular time which is 5:30pm – 7:30pm.

At the top of our agenda is a presentation from DHS about their new Improving Outcomes for Children initiative.

The  Improving Outcomes for Children initiative is a community partnership approach to child welfare aimed at further improving the safety, permanency, and well-being of the children and families DHS serves. The primary objectives of IOC are to create an enhanced model of service delivery with distinct, clearly defined, and well-understood roles for DHS and provider staff; and engage communities as integral partners in our work in order to strengthen the services provided to children and families in these neighborhoods.  Frankford has been selected as the next neighborhood to be a part of this new initiative.

The Mayor’s Office of Civic Engagement and the Mayor’s Office of Community Service will be giving a brief presentation on the changes to the summer feeding program and other programs and services offered through the city.  Sonya Mendelo will be joining us from the Northeast Treatment Center to talk about the programs that her organization offers for folks who are in recovery.

Kimberly Washington, Esq.

Northeast EPIC Stakeholders, Coordinator
CORA Services, Inc.
8540 Verree Road
Philadelphia, PA. 19111
(215) 701 – 2588