About N5SRP

The North 5th Street Revitalization Project Welcomes You!

Located in the heart of Philadelphia’s Olney neighborhood, North 5th Street is brimming with over 340 unique businesses, and an exceptional variety of restaurants. The incredible array of exciting new places you’ll find along North 5th Street is a reflection of the diversity of the many countries our residents represent. “North 5th Street, Where Global is Local

Olney offers affordable houses in excellent condition, quality public and parochial schools, and unbeatable parks. It’s the perfect place to call home or visit and try something new every day!

Learn more about our organization, staff, and Advisory Board below.

Our Mission and History

N5SRP’s mission is to manage, promote, and revitalize North 5th Street in Olney as a thriving commercial district for area shoppers, residents and visitors.

We were founded by Olney residents and merchants, in 2005 as a focused reinvestment toward North 5th Street’s primary commercial hub, located at 5th and Olney Avenue. In 2008, we hired a full-time Corridor Manager and Sanitation Specialist with generous funding from the Philadelphia Department of Commerce. We’ve since grown to a full-time staff of four and part-time staff of three. In 2019, with support from the office of former Councilwoman Cherelle Parker and the Philadelphia Department of Commerce, we expanded our corridor work to include the Broad and Olney commercial corridor, for which we hired a full time Corridor Manager in 2022. Stay tuned for future updates about our work on Broad Street!

As a community-based program, our work is driven by the ideas and concerns of the community. To share your thoughts and learn how you can become a part of the revitalization effort please contact us today!

Our Service Area

N5SRP services two commercial corridors in Philadelphia’s Olney neighborhood (19120). The North 5th Street commercial corridor stretches from Roosevelt Boulevard (4800) to Spencer Street (6000) along North 5th Street. This mile and a half long corridor is bustling with over 360 active businesses, 8 SEPTA bus routes, and over 25,000 residents in the immediate surrounding blocks. Its low commercial vacancy (11%) and surrounding residential vacancy (9%) makes it one of Philadelphia’s most highly trafficked commercial corridors. The Broad Street commercial corridor runs along North Broad Street, from West Somerville Avenue (5300 block) to West Godfrey Avenue (6100 block), and is home to over 140 small businesses. The corridor is easily accessible by the SEPTA Broad Street Line, with the Olney Transportation Center serving as the second most highly trafficked transit station in the region. 

Olney is one of Pennsylvania’s most ethnically and linguistically diverse neighborhoods, with 23% of the population being foreign born. Residents hail from Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, the Caribbean, South America, Central America, Mexico, and Sub-Saharan Africa.

What We Do

Make 5th street shine

Clean and beautiful streets make a neighborhood pleasant for its residents and inviting to outside shoppers. N5SRP hires three sidewalk cleaning specialists to remove litter and maintain overall cleanliness along North 5th Street on a Monday through Friday schedule. Colorful banners, benches at bus stops and new murals have also been installed by N5SPRP to make North 5th Street an attractive centerpiece to the Olney neighborhood.

Make 5th Street safer

Safe streets improve the quality of life for residents and allow merchants to do more business at later hours of the day. N5SRP has taken a proactive approach to crime prevention by installing a camera surveillance system on North 5th Street. We work with Philadelphia’s 35th Police District to provide surveillance footage whenever needed, and advocate for community policing along North 5th Street.

Promote our diverse retail, restaurant and services businesses

Businesses along North 5th Street provide much needed jobs and services for Olney residents. The primary objective of N5SRP is to support local merchants through a variety of business services and referrals. N5SRP also manages the Olney Business Association and assists merchants in accessing capital improvement grants. By helping small businesses grow, the surrounding community will also flourish.

Foster community for Olney residents

In 2010, N5SRP established the Olney Community Collaborative (OCC) as a way to join residents and merchants through activities. Korean, Latin and African cultural events, neighborhood cleanup days, open mic nights, summer youth employment programs and community mural paintings are just a few ways the OCC has used Olney’s assets and diversity to foster community cohesion along North 5th Street.

We hope you will join with us to make North 5th Street a more vibrant area to live, work and play.

Who We Are

Stephanie Michel

Executive Director

Stephanie Michel is a second-generation Haitian, community developer, public educator, and spoken word artist. She currently serves as the Executive Director of the North 5th Street Revitalization Project, a community development corporation serving Philadelphia’s Olney neighborhood—the most culturally, racially, and ethnically diverse neighborhood in Pennsylvania. She offers planning, coordination, and implementation support to the four of N5SRP’s components, cleaning, safety, business assistance, and community. Stephanie applies her passion and talent toward engaging North 5th Street’s residents and merchants. Her team of 7 members provides corridor management and cleaning services to over 400 businesses. 

Stephanie began her public service career as the Civic Engagement Intern with Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition, an Assistant Director with Grassroots Campaigns, and a Kindergarten teacher in the Bensalem School District.  She began working at North 5th Street as an Americorps VISTA volunteer in 2012. After her year of service, remaining committed to the work, Stephanie became the Program Coordinator, where she organized community partners in the Olney neighborhood to host and launch various community programs, classes, and events. Over the years, she took on roles with increasing responsibility, from Assistant Director, to Co-director to Executive Director. 

 

For her outstanding leadership, she has been recognized as a Billy Penn Who’s Next Community Leader, a Philadelphia Association of CDC (PACDC) Rising Star, a Next City Vanguard Fellow and a LEADERSHIP Philadelphia Fellow. Stephanie currently serves on the board of PACDC, the Philadelphia Historical Commission and the Charlotte Cushman Foundation.

Stephanie holds a B.A in Spanish and Sociology from Albright College and is pursuing a M.A in Theological and Cultural Anthropology from Eastern University.

Heather Liang

Corridor Outreach Manager

Heather is the Corridor Outreach Manager at N5SRP. They work to build connections and engage community partners in the Olney neighborhood. Heather joined N5SRP as the Community Economic Development Assistant in 2018. They have a background in city planning, receiving their BA in Growth and Structure of Cities from Bryn Mawr College, and their MCP in City and Regional Planning from the University of Pennsylvania. Heather is passionate about people-centered and data-driven community economic development.

Vanahi Diaz

Community Program Coordinator

 Vanahi is a Community Program Coordinator/Corridor Manager in training at North 5th Street Revitalization Project, with two years being a part of a team and five as a volunteer. She also is an alumnus of the Advocacy Institute and Young City Planner’s Initiative, which worked with the North 5th Street Revitalization Project to help them promote the corridor through images and creativity and help create a sustainable, beautiful community. She is currently studying at Esperanza College, majoring in Community and Human Service. She is excited to integrate her education and innate capacity for the organization to do what she loves most: empowering others to achieve their goals, like helping business owners with storefront improvement applications, Translating into Spanish for Latino-owned businesses, and helping with any business assistance issues. She has also done various event planning on the corridor. She also does a fantastic job regularly posting on social media to keep community members, funders, and partners engaged. 

Cheryl Wiltshire

Broad & Olney Corridor Manager

Cheryl Wiltshire has deep roots in the Olney community living here all her life. She often found herself leaving to go to school, shop, and find fun activities to do. It was not until joining Young City Planners Initiative (YCPI) in 2017, that she was able to see Olney for what it was; A loving, caring, and diverse community with plenty to offer.

After One year of YCPI and another as part of the Olney Youth Advisory Council (OYAC), she graduated in 2019 from Olney Charter High School and continued her education at West Chester University of Pennsylvania as a Criminal Justice major with a minor in Youth empowerment and Urban Development.

Despite being very busy with school Cheryl is always able to find time for volunteer work. It is this love for giving back to the community that connected her to her position as Broad & Olney Corridor Manager.

Warren AKA "Burger"

Sanitation Specialist

Warren, or affectionately nick-named “Burger” on 5th Street, is a long time Olney resident and 5th Street mainstay. He’s been a Sanitation Specialist with N5SRP since the cleaning services kicked off in 2008. Warren is a dedicated Eagles fan and loves taking summer vacations to the shore with his family.

Youth Advisory Council

Olney Youth Advisory Board

The Olney Youth Advisory Council (OYAC) are young leaders who want to improve their community by providing fun free events for their peers, and provide youth voice to the transformation that is happening here in Olney. The OYAC hosts events by young people for young people. Our OYAC members have gone on to continue to serve their communities, with members joining our full-time staff to continue their great work in Olney.

Are you a young person interested in making a change in your neighborhood? Please reach out to us to learn how you can get involved!

Our Advisory Board

N5SRP is led by an active and engaged Advisory Board comprised of neighborhood, merchants, residents, and community partners. This knowledgable and committed group advises N5SRP’s initiatives and is the driving force behind the program’s mission and vision. Our current Advisory Board Members (in alphabetical order by last name):

Pastor Tim Bathurst – A long time Olney resident and Interim Pastor at New Life Church. Mr. Bathurst is also a residential realtor servicing Olney and the surrounding neighborhoods.

Marjarie Burnett – Olney resident, block captain and involved GPASS Board member. Ms. Burnett sat on the Steering Committee for N5SRP’s 2012 corridor revitalization plan for the southern section of the corridor.

Doreen Burrows – Owner of Alliance Realty Inc., located at 5700 N 5th Street. Ms. Burrows is an engaged and concerned merchant in the northern section of the corridor.

Alberto Carrasco – Owner of D’Classico Barbershop, located at 4947 N 5th Street. Mr. Carrasco assists N5SRP by providing meeting space for the Olney Business Association and merchant workshops.

Justin Lee – Former owner of Tommy’s Place Restaurant (5511 N 5th St) and current owner of Fern Rock Hardware, located at 5957 North 5th Street. Mr. Lee also served as President of the Olney Business Association from 2011-2012.

Ambrose Liu – Organizer of the Olney Youth Arts Festival and Olney Youth Choir Concert. Mr. Liu also partners with N5SRP to host its monthly Open Mic Nights.

Christina Patton – Head Librarian at the Greater Olney Branch of the Free Library. Ms. Patton continues to facilitate N5SRP’s longstanding partnership with the Greater Olney Branch by providing meeting space for community events.

Press

Read what the media is saying about N5SRP’s good work by visiting our press page.