By Michael Bushnell
Independence Avenue Community Improvement District (CID) stakeholders took an opportunity to stop and smell the roses on Wednesday, June 27, when the CID invited Urban Core Group to its headquarters on Independence Avenue as part of a year-long celebration for the organization’s five-year anniversary.
The CID was joined by Urban Core Group, also celebrating their 20th anniversary, to celebrate the adaptive reuse of the old William Chick Post Office at Independence Boulevard and Chestnut. Roughly 100 people attended the June 27 gala, feasting on locally sourced hors d’oeuvres and enjoying frozen treats from the Thirsty Coconut beverage truck.
“We focus on how new projects and redevelopment efforts are revitalizing our urban core,” said Bob Long, President of the Urban Core Group. “The adaptive reuse of this facility by the Northeast Chamber and the Independence Avenue CID is exactly the kind of project we celebrate.”
The former post office had previously sat vacant for about eight years before the Chamber purchased the facility.
According to Bobbi Baker-Hughes, the CID has come a long way since its infancy.
“We started with one Urban Street Ambassador pilot project to ten full time ambassadors,” Baker-Hughes said. “We’ve also improved storefronts and upgraded properties with parking lots. Business owners are starting to see the future of Independence Avenue.”
Combining the CID’s five-year anniversary and UCG’s 20 year anniversary was a perfect wedding of young and old, as well as a good excuse to get the groups together for some networking and some development discussions.
“This was a great opportunity to network with supporters of Independence Avenue from all over the city,” said Baker Hughes. “Very definitely looking forward to continuing that momentum.”