Passyunk Avenue Revitalization Corporation
“One less thing to keep me up at night….”
When most people hear “South Philly” it evokes images of Philadelphia’s rich, urban tradition of neighborhood-based family businesses and ethnic enclaves: The Italian Market. Cheesesteaks. Rocky Balboa. The musical heritage of Fabian, Frankie Avalon, Bobby Rydell, and Eddie Fisher. The commercial corridor linking this uniquely vibrant neighborhood is Passyunk Avenue, a bustling mile-long ribbon of new restaurants, mom-and-pop businesses and urban row homes that cuts diagonally across this tightly-knit community.
As with so many urban corridors, Passyunk Avenue needs ongoing maintenance and refreshing, and that’s where the Passyunk Avenue Revitalization Corp. steps in. More than a community development corporation or an improvement district, PARC’s focus is community revitalization. PARC cleans and greens public spaces and strategically renovates, restores and invests in commercial and residential real estate properties to improve “The Avenue,” to keep rents affordable and to strengthen its retail environment and neighborhood character.
“We’re a dual-mission organization, working in property enhancement and management and in improving public spaces,” says Executive Director Bryan Fenstermaker. “It’s a unique model if it’s done correctly.”
But being multi-faceted and having to manage many subcontractors can be daunting, he says. “Having Your Part-Time Controller step in and take some of the financial pieces off our hands and taking care of the back office is helpful. It’s one less thing to keep me up at night.”
YPTC provides a variety of services, from training the organization to prepare for new nonprofit accounting rules changes, to preparing reports for board meetings and creating financial projections. “We transitioned auditing firms over this past year and YPTC was helpful in vetting firms and getting the new one up and ready,” he says.
YPTC Associate Thom Lord, who has a background in real estate and banking, has been especially helpful. “We brought in four new tenants in the past year-and-a-half, and with that comes a lot of contract negotiations and construction. We’re rehabbing properties, putting them on the market and selling them. Thom has been there with us through the sales, getting the numbers together for the closings and helping us with the settlement sheets. It’s helpful to have another eye looking at all of this.
“Your Part-Time Controller has been really helpful, working in the background. Knowing our books are straight and the back office is under control lets us innovate and support The Avenue. It’s been a good working relationship.”