By: Marcel Garon – University of Pennsylvania Civic House Intern
April, 2013 – Ogontz Avenue Revitalization Corporation (OARC) is a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) community development corporation founded in 1983. Their mission is to create and stimulate sustainable economic development through innovative and creative use of available resources while improving the quality of life for residents in West Oak Lane and other neighborhoods throughout the Northwest section of Philadelphia.
Recently, OARC embarked on a substantial community development project, working with the City of Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority to acquire a nuisance nightclub which had been the scene of a lot of criminal activity. In addition to the presence of crime, there was also an unsightly billboard on the roof of the club. The property was a nuisance to the neighborhood, and the first thing people saw when they entered Philadelphia from Cheltenham Township, Montgomery County. In order to ameliorate the crime and blight issues, OARC successfully rehabilitated the building, and it now serves as their office. The pleasant, modern office building without a billboard constitutes a pleasing and welcoming gateway into Philadelphia. The rehabilitation of this specific property is part of a larger overall community development project, as it is directly across the street from a newly upgraded SEPTA depot.
Scenic Philadelphia makes it a point to commend organizations from around the city that are diligently working to advance healthy, vibrant and beautiful public spaces throughout all of Philadelphia. Way to go OARC!