Kensington and Allegheny Business Association

Organizing businesses for joint action to improve the business environment has become an increasingly important part of Impact’s work over the years.

On the Kensington Commercial Corridor, it revitalized the defunct Kensington and Allegheny Business Association (KABA).
Resources from the CDC Tax Credit program have enabled it to provide leadership, administrative, and marketing support to area businesses.  Successful proposal writing efforts have brought in new cleaning services, safety ambassadors, lighting, a streetscape plan, a 3 story mural, and physical improvements, as well as over $400,000 in loanable funds, and new technical support services.
Joint marketing efforts have made positive contributions to burnishing the area’s tarnished reputation and consistently involve over 50 of the neighborhood businesses.
Joint action by businesses has been extremely successful in dealing with zoning issues, getting ordinances passed, and seeing that issues related to Streets, Sanitation, Licensing and Inspection, Parking, and Police have been addressed in timely ways.

At a time when many more affluent Commercial Corridors are seeing rising vacancy rates, Kensington and Allegheny has bucked the negative trend.

The core Kensington and Allegheny Commercial Corridor vacancy rate has dropped from 29% in 2005 to 21.9% in June, 2011.  Several major new employers, notably Esperanza Health Center and Hispanic Community Counseling Center, have come to the area and flourished.  In total, a net of 288 new jobs have come to the K&A Commercial Corridor, bringing needed services and considerable levels of new foot traffic.  A total of $8.8 million has been invested on the corridor since 2005 and a net of 10 new businesses have opened.
Efforts to help a local pharmacy acquire the needed financing to expand were initiated late in 2011; this mixed use project will cover three addresses in the 3200 block of Kensington Avenue.  Funder response to the proposal being submitted in December 2011 will materially impact the schedule of this project.
This well established effort and associated projects provide a clear source of momentum for additional near term development.