To assess the market needs and guide the development of new resources for development projects in the city, over the last year PIDC has convened a 75+ member Advisory Committee comprised of for-profit and non-profit developers, bankers and investors; City officials; and neighborhood-based organizations. This group gathered again on July 13 for an advisory committee meeting.

The meeting kicked off with a presentation from Yvette A. Núñez on the work of the Roadmap for Growth initiative of the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia. They are planning to host a few issue forums in the coming months along with their With Growth for All Conference, which is scheduled for November 2018. PIDC is proud to be the lead sponsor of the Roadmap’s A Map to Thriving Business series discussion on starting and growing your existing business in six neighborhoods throughout Philadelphia.

At the meeting, PIDC gave an update on progress of our new Impact Development Fund which has, to date, approved four neighborhood development projects. During strategic planning work in 2017, the Advisory Committee clearly identified that opportunities for development and job creation exist throughout the city, but that a different kind of capital was needed to unlock those opportunities. In response, PIDC launched the new $6 million Impact Development Fund in April 2018. This fund is designed to support commercial, industrial, and mixed-use development in neighborhoods and commercial corridors throughout Philadelphia’s low-income communities.

Other discussions centered on other new programs PIDC is researching and piloting as well as an interactive discussion of the new federal Opportunity Zones program.

During this interactive discussion, breakout groups gathered to discuss Opportunity Zones.  These small group conversations centered around four questions to address where current activity is happening in Opportunity Zones;  what the biggest challenges are in connecting investor capital with projects and businesses; idea generation on addressing those challenges; and brainstorming organizations active in Opportunity Zones that can be resources for identifying projects.  This lively discussion generated lots of data and information to be looked at in further detail in future meetings.