(Photo by Jason Sherman)
Those supporting the effort by the city to endorse what has been bubbling up in Old City and Northern Liberties for several years now congregated in Northern Liberties at Liberty Lands Park for a BBQ with an unveiling ceremony after party. In addition to representatives from many of the companies based on the corridor and community members who associate with them, the event featured City Councilman Darrell Clarke, city Managing Director Rich Negrin, city CIO Adel Ebeid and city Commerce Director Alan Greenberger, among others.
“It’s just the beginning. The street signs are symbolic because it shows that the city is supportive and there’s a lot of invested interest in this community,” said Danny Harvith, the young Jarvus Innovations business development director who helped push forward the naming effort. “We’re going to work hard to leverage that along with the business community and the great people here to do some very exciting, substantive things to make this community a better place to live work and play.”
On this grand, sunny day, beer was flowing, food and laughter were present, even children and dogs were enjoying the festivities.
“I think what’s important about N3rd Street going forward is that we have given an identity to what’s really cool about this district, which is the blending of technology, art, good food and good bars,” said Philly Startup Leaders president Rick Nucci. “You can walk a block in this neighborhood and have all of those experiences. I think what happens when you blend all this together is that you get really unique innovations and I think now that we’ve given an identity to that it’s going to help raise the awareness of what’s happening.”
Others also praised the effort as more than just vanity street signs. Indy Hall member Bob Batz said, “What I think is interesting about the N3rd street concept is that it arose out of the community itself organically over time and really wasn’t imposed down by a branding effort from real estate developers or the city.”
It’s been a fast change from when the brand first surfaced in 2011 to a business hub sold as holding more than 30 tech and creative firms to, as Indy Hall cofounder Alex Hillman as an identity.
“The goal is obviously to transform N3rd Street and the surrounding community into the hub of technology, art, music, urban awareness and all things culture,” said Hillman. “So I think that the official resolution really gets the identity of nurturing in front of a lot more people than we would’ve been able to. My hope is that more people see that and want to be part of it.”