University City District Blog

An image of University City with a graphic heart.
Mar 25, 2020 10 days ago

Small Business Support Opportunities

UCD wants to help local businesses and organizations during this uncertain time. While our efforts typically focus on initiatives like creating destination events along commercial corridors to beautifying streetscapes to keeping the streets clean and safe, our main focus right now is providing economic support and recovery while we all struggle with the unknowns and uncertainties tied to the COVID-19 pandemic. To that end, we wanted to share some important resources at your disposal, and highlight a few ways UCD is helping small businesses.



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A woman and her baby shop at the Nesting House
Mar 17, 2020 18 days ago

Local Business Support, Promotions, and Specials

Below, we are aggregating ways you can support local businesses through promotions, specials, and donations. If you would like your information added please email us to be added!

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A Baltimore Avenue banner
Mar 02, 2020 33 days ago

Baltimore Avenue Banner Design Competition

In 2008, UCD installed 70 pedestrian streetlamps along Baltimore Avenue, between 45th and 50th streets. A few years later we held a contest for the design of banners to represent Baltimore Avenue. After eight years, we’re looking to replace the faded banners with new versions, and are seeking community submissions for what the design will be. Here's your chance to have your design printed and placed along Baltimore Avenue for the entire community to see and enjoy!

Here are the contest basics:

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Visitors to The Porch eating at a food truck
Feb 28, 2020 36 days ago

March 2020 at The Porch at 30th Street Station

We are excited to share that daily weekday food vending is back at The Porch! For March of 2020, we'll welcome one truck each weekday to vend during lunchtime hours, plus Schmear It offering breakfast on Thursdays*. The full schedule is below! Stay tuned for the return of two trucks each day, plus other exciting programming for 2020.


*Please note Schmear It is vending on Monday, March 2nd instead of Thursday, March 5th due to a scheduling conflict. 

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A neighbor joining a community clean-up
Feb 24, 2020 40 days ago

Spring Clean-up! Join UCD and the City of Philadelphia for a Community Clean-up on April 4th

Help keep your neighborhood clean by joining a community cleanup on Saturday, April 4th from 9 AM to 2 PM. UCD is partnering with the City of Philadelphia to assist block captains, students, volunteer groups and neighbors by providing trash bags, brooms, work gloves, and trash pickup. Additionally, Clarkville at 4301 Baltimore Avenue will have a 30' dumpster available for public use during the cleanup. Feel free to dispose of large items not typically taken during weekly trash collection. 

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Feb 04, 2020 60 days ago

Our 2019 Annual Review

University City District works year-round to change places and change lives. We invite you to explore our 2019 Annual Review online, where you can see our impact across our community. Thank you to all the partners, funders, and supporters who make our work possible. We look forward to coming together with all of you in 2020 to make University City a vibrant, welcome community for all.

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Jan 27, 2020 2 months ago

Two Dedicated Community Leaders Gift Seed Money for Continued Beautification of Trolley Portal Gardens

Trolley Portal Gardens, our public space located at the intersections of 40th and Baltimore, received a huge boost this winter thanks to a $100,000 donation from longtime neighbors and community leaders Barry Grossbach and Mike Hardy. The money will establish an endowment for the continued beautification of the space, including upkeep of the flower mounds and planters, and Barry and Mike are hopeful their example will inspire other members of the community to contribute as well.

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Jan 13, 2020 2 months ago

2020 MLK Day Events and Volunteer Opportunities

Local organizations throughout our neighborhood are offering events to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Monday, January 20th. See below for a collection of celebrations and volunteer opportunities. Want more to do? Our community calendar has a comprehensive list of upcoming events. 



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Dec 17, 2019 3 months ago

Announcing $895,000 of Support for WPSI and Green City Works

We are pleased to announce that we are the recipients of $895,000 in funds from the Connelly and William Penn Foundations. The funding will help to expand the reach of our West Philadelphia Sklils Initiative (WPSI) and support career growth and pathways out of intergenerational poverty, with a particular focus on Green City Works (GCW). GCW, a landscaping social venture which employs West Philadelphians, provides high quality design-build-maintenance landscaping services while transforming the way the industry trains, advances, and supports its workforce.

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Dec 17, 2019 3 months ago

UCD Welcomes Angela Dowd-Burton as New Garden Court Board Representative

At our December 16th meeting of our Board of Trustees, the UCD board approved Angela Dowd-Burton as the new representative for Garden Court Community Association. Our board, composed of community, business, institutional, and non-profit leaders from within University City, underwrites our Clean and Safe program and provides much-needed operating support.

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Dec 05, 2019 4 months ago

The State of University City 2020

On Wednesday, December 4th, hundreds of guests attended our annual State of University City event at World Cafe Live.

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Two diners enjoying a meal at Renata's Kitchen
Dec 04, 2019 4 months ago

Renata's Kitchen Now Open at Trolley Portal Gardens

We at University City District are thrilled to announce that Renata’s Kitchen is now for business at 3940 Baltimore Avenue, the restaurant space within Trolley Portal Gardens. Kate Steenstra and Yasser Aiq, the co-owners of Renata’s Kitchen, have been serving the neighborhood for six years, and have brought their beloved brunch service, catering, and eventually dinner and bar service to this new, larger location.

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Dec 04, 2019 4 months ago

JP Morgan Gifts $1.5 Million to University City District to Support Expansion of the West Philadelphia Skills Initiative

On Wednesday, December 4th, JP Morgan announced details of a $1.5 million grant to UCD to support the West Philadelphia Skills Initiative, in collaboration with Temple University and the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC), as we partner to build a place-based network of employer-driven workforce programs in West, North, and South Philadelphia. Representatives from JP Morgan announced the funds to UCD staff and partners from Temple and PIDC this morning during the opening of a new branch of Chase Bank at 2815 Grays Ferry Avenue. 

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Nov 18, 2019 4 months ago

The HOW Group Partners with UCD on Path into the Trades

While The HOW Group has only been a member for less than a year, its partnership with UCD is creating a pathway to the skilled trades for talented West Philadelphians, and illustrating the potential that our relationships with members have to evolve for the benefit of the neighborhood.

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Nov 18, 2019 4 months ago

UCD Member Spotlight: AMC Delancey is Growing into University City

In nearly 30 years of real estate development and property management, AMC Delancey has become involved in all angles of the real estate field. Throughout their long history, they’ve invested in a wide range of asset classes – from hotels and golf courses, to land and industrial properties. Like many businesses, the 2009 financial collapse offered the company the opportunity to rethink its long-term strategy and reposition itself as a leader in multi-family apartments and multi-family mixed-use assets.

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Nov 15, 2019 4 months ago

2019 Holiday Happenings in University City

The winter holidays are alive in University City! We've collected some highlights from throughout the neighborhood of fun activities to celebrate. See our community calendar for a comprehensive list of neighborhood offerings and check out these highlights. 

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Nov 14, 2019 4 months ago

Citizens Bank Offers $125K Contribution to Support Expansion of the West Philadelphia Skills Initiative

On Thursday, November 14th, Citizens Bank announced a $125,000 investment in our nationally-recognized job training program, the West Philadelphia Skills Initiative (WPSI), in support of our expansion efforts. Citizens Bank’s substantial investment in WPSI is one of the largest the bank has made in Philadelphia.

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Nov 05, 2019 4 months ago

November 2019 at The Porch at 30th Street Station

We are making some changes to the schedule at The Porch due to the arrival of cold weather. We will now be welcoming only a single truck each day for weekday lunch vending. We've also expanded the hours of La Chocolatera, the new vendor of drinking chocolate, coffee, and baked goods. See more details on both below!  

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Oct 29, 2019 5 months ago

Celebrating Eight Years of The Porch at 30th Street Station

In 2010, the southern boundary of Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station – home to Amtrak, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), New Jersey Transit and their combined 27,000 daily commuters – was a drab strip of concrete. The area seemed to exist exclusively for cars entering and exiting the Schuylkill Expressway, or whizzing down Market Street through six lanes of traffic.

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