Business owners and politicians worked side by side, with paint brush in hand, to help kick off a business renaissance on Germantown Avenue. It's a project of the community development program, Mt Airy, USA.
"The real goal is to continue revitalization on Germantown Avenue. We've seen several new businesses and want to keep them despite the economy and attract new ones," said Farah Jimenez, Educational Director, Mt. Airy USA.
The program is called "Rock the Block". They've already added 3 murals to the street and Tuesday they started 1/4 million dollars in improvements to 12 business facades on a two mile stretch of Germantown Avenue from Creshem Valley Road to Washington Lane.
Artist renderings show the improvements that will be made. "Rock the Block" is funded by a combination of corporate, federal, state and local grants.
"When you clean up, paint up, fix up it makes everyone feel like you care about what's going on out here and you feel good you feel safe you come on out and you go shopping and that's what we want," said Councilwoman Donna Reed Miller.
The18 month project cost $1.4 million. They're going to add more trees along the street, better lighting, repair the sidewalk and add park benches as well. Business owners say this is going to mean a world of difference and they need it to start right now.
"Folks will be doing their holiday shopping here in their neighborhood, on the avenue, which gives me the economic boost. It should work out well," said Mark Kidd, owner of Majeki's Stained Glass.
The entire project will be finished in December 2010.