Storefront renovation program coming to Mayfair

The Mayfair Storefront Makeover Program will offer businesses off the main corridors up to $5,000 to uplift their storefronts.

Down to business: The Mayfair Storefront Makeover Program will offer businesses off the main corridors up to $5,000 to uplift their storefronts. Source: Philip Green

Storefronts in Mayfair are getting ready for a facelift as Mayfair Community Development Corporation is announcing its Mayfair Storefront Makeover Program.

The CDC received $100,000 grant through the Keystones Community Program with the help of state Sen. Christine Tartaglione. Approximately $70,000 of that grant is earmarked toward the storefront program, which will offer businesses up to $5,000 to uplift their storefront.

The program was implemented to help boost businesses that are off Mayfair’s major Cottman and Frankford avenues locations.

“The businesses of the corridor don’t qualify for the city storefront improvement program, but they are just as important to the vibrancy of our community,” said Mayfair CDC president Marc Collazzo.

The program will reimburse businesses for 85% of the storefront makeover costs, with a maximum reimbursement of $5,000. Funds expire on June 12, 2020 and will be given at a first-come, first-serve basis, so interested businesses are encouraged to reach out soon.

“Mayfair thrives because of small business. These people invest their time, talent and treasure in their businesses, and it’s hard for them to put out that money to make these changes so we’re thrilled to offer that to them,” Collazzo said.

Project manager Philip Green has experience uplifting community storefronts in the Olney and Ardmore. He co-directed the North Fifth Street Revitalization Project, where he oversaw many businesses improve their facades similar to this program.

“You can take something that used to be a magnet for graffiti and turn it into an active space that has lights on during the day and night and contributes positively to the block,” he said. “It can demonstrate to the rest that this place does matter and is worth investment.”

Business owners will have a hands-on approach with creating the designs and contractor estimates with technical expertise from Green. Once an applicant submits their application, a design review committee will approve or offer suggestions on the submitted designs.

“We really want to preserve the historic charm of Mayfair and make sure there’s uniformity between the buildings,” Green said.

To get started, applicants can reach out to Green at MayfairStorefrontMakeover@gmail.com with images of the existing storefront and proposed improvements. Businesses will then submit the completed application that includes clear photos of the building, a rendering of the work they would like to be done that can be a sketch or digital picture and at least two estimates from contractors for each type of work to be completed.

The application will then be sent to the review committee to be reviewed within two weeks of receival.

“A new design invigorates an existing business, because for some it seems like it’s new and for others it captures attention and makes you want to go in and see what’s going on, and I have no doubt that with Phil’s help we’re going to be able to make a significant change in the Mayfair business community,” Collazzo said.