Neighborhood News

Keep up with all things Germantown! We post resources and opportunities for local businesses and entrepreneurs, news about community-driven planning efforts and the equitable development of Germantown, and relevant programs and events for residents.


Germantown Winter Window Display Contest

Make Germantown’s commercial district shine this winter!

Businesses with street-facing storefronts are invited to enter the first seasonal window display contest sponsored by Germantown United CDC.

To be eligible, fill out this form by December 19, 2018.

Why should you participate? Neighborhood shopping districts are places of shared memory where the entire Germantown community still comes together to live, work and play. A vibrant, decorated business corridor can attract customers by making the area more enjoyable and inviting. Window displays and other decorations provide an economically efficient way to attract customers, as decorations are generally inexpensive. Register today!

Contest Guidelines

  • Decorate your windows with a holiday, winter, or other seasonal theme.
  • Make sure your window display is visible from the street.
  • Use lights to attract shoppers and visitors.

The 2018 contest is happening now and runs through New Year’s Eve.

Window displays should be ready for judging by December 19, 2018.

Winners will be announced in early January 2019.

All registered businesses/attractions will receive complimentary “I Love Germantown” buttons to distribute to their customers/visitors. “The People’s Choice” winner, determined by citizen votes, will have the option to design a custom button that promotes your business or attraction. This contest will now be held annually. After winning an award, a business will not be eligible to win again the next year (but will be eligible the following year). This will allow multiple businesses the opportunity to win an award.

Questions? Contact Emaleigh Doley at Germantown United CDC at or 215-856-4303.

Registration Form

Germantown United CDC to double staff in expansion

Germantown United CDC plans to double its staff capacity, increasing the organization’s work in commercial corridor revitalization and community building in the Germantown neighborhood. The nonprofit secured two competitive grants that will enable the organization to add two additional full-time jobs in the fall of 2018.

View the job descriptions for Corridor Manager and Neighborhood Advisory Committee Manager at

Read more »»»

New pop-up cleanup campaign hits the streets

Friends of Germantown Northwest and Germantown United CDC are partnering on a new project called “Clean It Up Make It Safe” Germantown Pop-up Cleanup, a public health and safety campaign aimed at litter abatement within Lower Germantown. The grassroots project utilizes pop-up cleanups – volunteer efforts that appear suddenly or unexpectedly – along the commercial district to improve the beauty, cleanliness, and safety of the targeted area, build community, and inspire people to action.

These cleanups are managed by Friends of Germantown Northwest’s Keith Schenck, and supported by GUCDC through the organization’s Lower Germantown Quality of Life Initiative which began in 2017.


“Clean It Up Make It Safe” events are highly visible flash cleanups within the commercial district and provide sidewalk sweeping, weeding, and litter and cigarette removal. Each cleanup is executed by a large group of volunteers and designed to:

  • Have an an immediate and positive physical impact in the community;
  • Generate excitement and community spirit;
  • Demonstrate leadership by example;
  • Encourage participation in community building; and
  • Challenge residents, merchants, and other stakeholders in greater Germantown to become involved in service and community-driven neighborhood improvement efforts.


CliffsNotes: An Overview of GU’s Five-Year Plan

Germantown United CDC released the organization’s five-year strategic plan in September 2018. This new plan will help prioritize and advance our work in Germantown now through the year 2023.

We encourage all our partners, neighborhood advocates, and community stakeholders to give the full plan a looksee. We also know 36 pages is a lot to take in 🙂 So if you’re looking for a quick overview of what’s changed, read on!

Biggest Update: Expanding Our Mission

GUCDC has expanded its focus on commercial corridor revitalization and role representing businesses to representing the entire Germantown community. We are increasing our investment in community building, outreach and engagement. The issues prompting this shift are documented in the full plan. The organization’s mission statement now reads:

The mission of the Germantown United CDC is to promote and facilitate the revitalization of Germantown and its business corridors through a sustainable, creative, and community-driven approach to economic development.

The bustling intersection of Germantown Ave. & Chelten Ave. (photo: Monique Brand)

Read more »»»

Germantown United CDC Announces Organizational Strategic Plan

Germantown United CDC released the organization’s five-year strategic plan in September 2018. This new plan will serve as a roadmap and tool for assessing progress, and will help prioritize and advance the organization’s work in Northwest Philadelphia’s Germantown neighborhood now through the year 2023.

The year-long planning process helped Germantown United CDC’s leadership to step back and examine where we are, where we want to go, and how to get there.

We have sharpened the organization’s mission, assessed program activities, and looked for opportunities to enhance our community and economic development work.

The planning process was led by V. Lamar Wilson Associates, a private consulting firm specializing in community development contracted to examine GUCDC’s program operations, and solicit different points of view and critiques of the organization—internal and external. This comprehensive process was made possible by the generous support of The Philadelphia Foundation.

View/download the full plan here.

For a quick overview of what’s changed, click here.

Free First-time Homebuyer Workshops in Germantown

Beginning in September 2018, Germantown United CDC will increase its work around affordable housing and homeownership. We are committed to bringing new housing counseling services to the neighborhood, and connecting residents with existing resources in Germantown and nearby, including pre-purchase and home-ownership counseling, foreclosure prevention, anti-predatory lending education, financial counseling, and a renter assistance referral system. But wait, there’s more! »»»

New Farmers Market Opens in Germantown

Starting Thursday, June 14, 2018 The Food Trust’s newest farmers market opens in Philadelphia’s Germantown neighborhood, as a place for community members to gather, purchase healthy foods, listen to music, enjoy arts and cultural programming, and take advantage of free community resources. The market, hosted in collaboration with Germantown United Community Development Corp. and Weavers Way Co-op, will be open to the public through October every Thursday, 3-7 p.m., at Germantown Avenue and East School House Lane.

Shoppers can enjoy:

  • Fresh fruits & veggies from Zookie’s Produce
  • Cooking demos by The Food Trust nutrition educators
  • Nuts, dried fruit, coffee, granola and other sustainably sourced bulk and packaged foods from Weavers Way Co-op
  • Community resources, music, arts & entertainment sponsored by Germantown United CDC
  • Food truck fare and prepared foods, including Ashbell’s Smokehouse Deli

But wait, there’s more! »»»

Response to Lower Germantown Blight and Housing Threat Before the PRA

The mission of Germantown United Community Development Corporation (GUCDC) is to promote and facilitate the revitalization of Germantown and its business corridors through a sustainable, creative, and community-driven approach to economic development.

In February of 2018, Germantown United CDC became aware that the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority (PRA) was considering a proposal to refinance $3.3 million in loans­––with forgiveness of all back taxes, all utility liens, and all late penalties and interest accumulated over a 25-year period––on 50+ properties concentrated in lower Germantown (an estimated 140+ units of housing).

News of the proposal before the PRA was met with overwhelming outrage. Thanks to substantial pressure, community organizing and advocacy, the PRA rejected the proposal and is moving forward with foreclosure, calling it “the responsible course of action that is best for the Germantown neighborhood and for the ongoing preservation and maintenance of this important affordable housing.” If successful, the PRA will take control of these properties. At this time however, exactly what will happen to these properties remains influx and unknown. But wait, there’s more! »»»

Germantown Second Saturday Festival is Saturday, May 12

The Germantown Second Saturday Festival will be held on Saturday, May 12, 2018 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. in Northwest Philadelphia’s Germantown neighborhood. The festival will take place at Market Square Park (5501 Germantown Avenue) and along Germantown Avenue, between School House Lane and Coulter Street, which will be closed to traffic. Rain or shine.

The community festival, presented by Historic Germantown and Germantown United Community Development Corporation, invites the public to experience Germantown. The festival celebrates the kick-off the Second Saturday series–when all 16 Historic Germantown sites are open monthly–and showcases the many thriving cultural, civic, and business attractions and activities that make Germantown an exciting place to live and visit. But wait, there’s more! »»»