About The Ardmore InitiativeThe Ardmore Initiative is the business district authority responsible for physical improvements and economic development in downtown Ardmore. Over the years, we have worked with Lower Merion Township to plan a number of streetscape improvement projects, which have included new sidewalks, curbs, trees, and street furniture. Another major phase of these improvements was completed last year. We also install and maintain streetscape amenities, such as benches and trash receptacles, banners and signage, flower baskets, and ground cover plantings. Over the past five years, we have installed a new community bulletin board, two "Historic District" signs on the edges of our historic district along Lancaster Avenue, and banners. In spring, summer, and fall, "seasonal" banners are hung on our light poles throughout town. Our snowflake holiday lights are up much of the winter. We also plant trees when necessary and plant flowers each spring. The Ardmore Initiative has also worked for years to keep Ardmore’s streets clean and has a Green Machine for sidewalk cleaning. You will see Harry Williams using the machine on the district’s sidewalks most days, weather permitting. We also respond to the various needs of the business community, keeping them informed about local issues and work with the Ardmore Business Association to plan events and activities to draw shoppers to the area.
The Ardmore Initiative has begun a major campaign to recruit new and appropriate retailers to our downtown district. We work closely with the Township's Retail Coordinator, Heidi Tirjan. If you are interested in starting a new business in Ardmore, please peruse our available real estate listings and our business directory (navigation bar on left) to see how your business will fit with our mix. Heidi can be of great help in explaining Ardmore's incentive programs, available space for rent or purchase, and Lower Merion Township's building code requirements.
Here are some of the many ways the Ardmore Initiative can benefit potential and existing Ardmore business and property owners:
- Façade Matching Grant Program
- The Ardmore Initiative , with funding from the Montgomery County Revitalization Program, has developed a matching grant program for facade improvements. You may be eligible to receive up to $5,000 for renovations to the exterior of your building, including signage, windows, awnings, lighting, etc. Call the Ardmore Initiative office (610-645-0540) for information on funding availability. Learn More...
- Business Development Seminars
- The Ardmore Initiative strives to increase retail sales and business opportunities for Ardmore business owners by offering occasional seminars to local businesses on a variety of topics such as e-commerce, advertising, marketing, customer service, business planning, exit strategies and more.
- Business to Business Mailings
- Introduce your fellow businesses to all you have to offer! We keep an up-to-date database of businesses in Ardmore, which we can print out on labels you provide or we can provide you with printed labels for a nominal fee ($10). These have been used for grand opening announcements, newsletters, sale announcements, etc. We will also fax out notices about new businesses to the community at-large. This service is only available to new and existing businesses in our district.
- The Ardmore Initiative publishes a quarterly newsletter that goes out to all business and property owners in Ardmore, as well as other interested parties. In each issue, we devote a page to information on new businesses. Click on "Newsletters" to the left for recent editions. We can also help you with grand-opening or ribbon-cutting ceremonies, by inviting local media, Township officials, and interested parties from the business community. We frequently publish directories and guides to Ardmore services, such as our Restaurant Guide, an Antiques guide and a full annual business directory booklet.
- The Ardmore Initiative works closely with the Ardmore Business Association to plan events designed to draw shoppers to our business district. These can include an annual Easter Egg Hunt, sidewalk sales, the Ardmore Dog Show, and holiday tree and menorah lighting ceremonies. Our strong business community also enjoys planning social outings for members, such as dinners, symposiums, and barbeques. Click on "Events" to the left for more info.
- Keeping You Informed
- We try to effectively communicate relevant Township information, policy changes and other local news to Ardmore business and property owners, on an as needed basis, using our broadcast fax system and our quarterly newsletter. Our community bulletin board in the Schauffele Plaza is also a great way to keep informed about events and businesses in our town.
The Ardmore Business District Authority, known as the Ardmore
Initiative, was incorporated October 1993 and began operations
in January 1994 with the goal of improving and enhancing
the Ardmore commercial district. For the past 15
years the Ardmore Initiative has worked to make the commercial
district more attractive and welcoming to investors, business
owners, residents, shoppers and visitors. It has provided
comprehensive planning and management for the district, and
worked with Lower Merion Township and other public and
private entities to coordinate resources in the most efficient
way for Ardmore’s benefit. It has also promoted the district
through the media and its own publications and provided a
voice for Ardmore business and property owners.
The east-west boundaries of the district extend from Wyoming
Avenue and 333 West Lancaster Avenue on the western end to
233 East Lancaster and 218 East Lancaster Avenue on the eastern
end. The northern boundary follows the railroad tracks, and the
southern boundary proceeds along Rittenhouse Place up to and
including 30 East Athens Avenue, and along Cricket Avenue up
to 123 Cricket Avenue.
The Ardmore Initiative is governed by a Board of Directors, 11 to 17 in number, representing the property owners and a cross-section of business interests. In addition, two representatives of Lower Merion’s Board of Commissioners and the Ardmore Initiative's Solicitor serve as ex-officio members of the Board. Board members are nominated by the Ardmore Initiative and appointed by the Lower Merion Board of Commissioners for 5-year terms. The day to day operations of the Ardmore Initiative are overseen by an Executive Director working under the direction of the Board.
The projects and services undertaken by the Ardmore Initiative are funded in part by a special assessment on each commercial property within the district based on the assessed value of each property. The payment of the annual assessment is enforceable in the same manner as municipal real estate tax assessments.
When the Ardmore Initiative was approved in 1993, it contained a “sunset” provision requiring property owners within the district to reauthorize the Authority after five years of operation. This Five Year Plan addresses the Ardmore Initiative’s request for reauthorization.
The Ardmore Initiative
Christine Vilardo, Executive Director
56 E. Lancaster Avenue
Ardmore, Pennsylvania 19003