Philadelphia’s City Council introduced a bill to approve the North Broad Business Improvement District, a proposed zone that would provide community services in exchange for an annual fee paid by commercial property owners and landlords, on Jan. 23.
North Broad Renaissance, a nonprofit community organization, is leading the effort to create the district. The organization, which currently provides cleaning, landscaping and marketing services to businesses on Broad Street between City Hall and Germantown Avenue, has held meetings with residents and business owners since May 2019.
The bill cannot be voted on if more than one-third of businesses that would be included within the district’s boundaries send objections to City Council within 45 days of the Rules Committee’s planned public hearing on the proposed district, per City Council rules.
A date for the public hearing has not been set, but it could happen in as early as six weeks, said Shalimar Thomas, executive director of North Broad Renaissance.
If the district is created, each of its approximately 265 property owners on the proposed section of Broad Street would pay 0.0012 percent of their property’s value to help expand and improve North Broad Renaissance’s ongoing community services, Thomas said.
For example, Temple Rainbow, a restaurant on Broad Street near Susquehanna Avenue, would pay $255 a year based on its property value, according to the Philadelphia Office of Property Assessment. 7-Eleven on Broad Street near Diamond would pay $1,238.
In addition to its current services, North Broad Renaissance would add security guard patrols to the district as part of its goal of promoting safety along Broad Street, Thomas added.
Council President Darrell Clarke, who represents the fifth district, which encompasses Main Campus, as well as Councilwoman Cherelle Parker, who represents the ninth district, are co-sponsors of the bill.
“Council President Clarke supports the North Broad Business Improvement District, and we support the wishes of members of the nearby community who are supporting the BID,” wrote Joe Grace, a spokesperson for Clarke, in an email to The Temple News. “This is also important because it supports the ongoing sustainability of the North Broad Street Renaissance, which is vital to what’s taking place in this part of North Philadelphia.”
Paul Moore, a 1985 biology and anthropology alumnus who owns the building where Yummy Pho is located on Broad Street near Norris, said he opposes paying for the district because Temple already provides security and trash cleaning services near his property.
“I don’t see any real need for it, at least on Temple’s campus,” Moore said.
Anthony Logan, who has owned Flambo Caribbean Restaurant on Broad Street near Parrish for three years, said that he is not opposed to the idea of the district but that right now, he is too burdened by taxes and other expenses to immediately support it.
“[The district] is music to my ears, but I just can’t afford it right now,” Logan said.