In 1968 civil rights leader Rev. Leon Sullivan built Progress Plaza, the nation’s first African-American-owned shopping center. Located in North Philadelphia, much of the center had fallen into disrepair since losing its anchor supermarket tenant in 1998. This past year, with support from the State and the Fresh Food Financing Initiative, Progress Plaza launched a major refurbishing effort. A new full-service, 46,000 sq. ft. Fresh Grocer anchors the center, creating 240 jobs.
FFFI provided Progress Plaza with $250,000 in grants for predevelopment costs for the supermarket and has committed an additional $2.3 million in loans to the Fresh Grocer for renovations, equipment, security and training.
Once redeveloped, Progress Plaza will complement other revitalization efforts in the neighborhood, including Avenue North, which received TRF’s New Markets Tax Credits to finance its multiplex movie theater and retail center just across the street