Al Día: Congressman Dwight Evans highlights new federal funding for the Enterprise Center’s 52nd Street Initiative

It looks like West Philadelphia will get the financial boost it deserves.

U.S Congressman Dwight Evans received a $1million grant to renovate West Philadelphia’s 52nd Street.

This money will go towards West Philadelphia’s famous 52nd Street in order to add more businesses and create more jobs, while also revamping the area to give it a makeover.

This new business prospect will give a boost to struggling businesses that have been scorned by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I was pleased to designate this $1 million in federal funding for the 52nd Street Initiative, a project that will transform the disinvested 52nd Street commercial corridor, in the government funding bill that President Biden recently signed into law,” Evans said.

The federal grant will be used toward the construction of the new 277 Community & Business Resource Center located at 52nd and Chestnut Street, and will be developed by minority contractors.

The area is close to mass transit and once the development is over, it will be a perfect spot for locals to shop and support.

The grant will encourage local residents and business owners the chance to develop the area by creating multiple perspectives, such as health stores and other business ventures.

The project will create 20 permanent jobs, including property manager, janitorial staff, client relations, marketing jobs and leasing agents. There will also be temporary positions, including design services, rehabilitation, and construction jobs.

President and CEO of the Enterprise Center Della Clark praised Congressman Evans for his staunch support in turning 52nd Street into an up-and-coming community hub.

“We are grateful for Congressman Evans’ leadership and support of the 52nd Street transformation,” said Clark.

Clark also talked about how crucial this development is, especially since the area is still struggling from the aftermath of the 2020 civil unrest and the COVID-19 pandemic, which was responsible for many business closures in the city.

“Change will not happen for our distressed communities unless we invest capital of significant size and scale, like these federal funds, in people and places that help achieve self-sufficiency on their terms – this will spark intentional wealth,” she said.

In addition to The Enterprise Center’s financial boost, Congressman Evans received $1 million in federal funding for the Mann Center for the Performing Arts.

“This will go toward the first phase of the Mann’s master plan for campus improvements, helping to support over 550 jobs during construction and creating 35 additional jobs long-term,” Evans said in a press release.

Contractors will begin to work on pavilion restoration, electrical grid expansion, rainwater management, installation of a second permanent Skyline Stage, and renovating the plaza to increase revenue generation.

The Mann Center, which is one of the most well-known venues in Philadelphia, brings about $50.4 million in revenue, and also brings 564 full-time and seasonal jobs to locals.