Headline News & Events

Breaking News

  • Crackdown Underway for City
    Avenue Area Aggressive Drivers

  • The City Ave District Welcomes
    John Collins as Director of
    Operations & Public Safety

  • Best of MainLine winner!

  • Project Updates

Next Events

  • August 29, 2014
    Movie in the Park

  • May 29-Nov 6, 2014
    The Food Spot

  • November 6, 2014
    The Food Spot

  • October 9, 2014
    The Food Spot

  • September 10, 2014
    Cancer Support Community of
    Greater Philadelphia Bark in the Park

About the District

The City Ave District

Here, everyone has a voice. The City Avenue Special Services District (City Ave District) works with businesses, property owners, developers, and residents to shape the future of this important corridor. This is a unique partnership between the City of Philadelphia and the Township of Lower Merion, taking advantage of input from the public and private sectors as well. Spanning across Philadelphia and Lower Merion Townships in Montgomery County, the District is the first multi-jurisdictional special services or business improvement district in North America.

The City Ave District supports the area in many ways including:

  • Events
  • Marketing
  • Physical Improvements
  • Safety
  • Transportation
  • Zoning


There's always something going on in City Ave. The City Ave District hosts its own events, and collaborates with other partners to promote City Ave as a vibrant urban center, making it the place to live, work, play, and learn. Click here to sign up for our e-news and stay posted on the many new events taking place in our area.


We're telling everyone about City Ave. The City Ave District actively markets the area to investors, developers, brokers, businesses, residents, and visitors. By hosting events, forming strategic partnerships, and getting the word out about the area through our own communications channels, we continually generate interest about this vibrant urban setting.

Got the inside scoop on something good? Please keep us updated about future events in the area by sending the news to us here. We also want to share the latest happenings with you, so sign up for our e-news.

A lot of good things have happened over the past five years. You can read our latest summary here to see all the progress to date.

Physical Improvements

  • City Ave is looking good. The City Ave District has spent $4 million on streetscape improvements over the last five years. Here's just some of what we've accomplished:
  • The Southern Gateway, near 63rd Street, now features beautiful landscaping and signage.
  • The Northern Gateway, at the intersection of Presidential Blvd, boasts landscaping and other improvements that complement the pedestrian bridge. The project was a successful collaboration between the City Ave District and Philadelphia Green.
  • Improvements along 54th Street contribute to pedestrian safety while enhancing the aesthetic character of the corridor. The project was collaboration between the City Ave District and Saint Joseph's University.
  • The Bala Avenue streetscape project, completed in May 2013, stimulates the revitalization of the corridor's commercial district, creating a bustling center of pedestrian activity.
  • The 63rd Street Streetscape project enhances the streetscape and walkability of 63rd Street from City Ave to Lancaster Ave, an important area of residential and commercial activity

And that's not all. We have an additional $10 million in improvements planned over the next five years as we continue to transform the City Ave area.


Security is always our first priority for those living, working, or visiting in City Ave. The City Ave District partners with both the Philadelphia and Lower Merion Township police departments to increase safety throughout City Ave. As a result, crime has decreased by a whopping 66% over the last 10 years. Here are just a few of the programs we've initiated:

  • We employ eight full-time and several part-time Community Service Representatives (CSRs). They patrol the District on bicycles and communicate directly with both the Lower Merion and Philadelphia police departments. The CSRs can assist people with directions or car problems, administer first aid, and provide other important services.
  • We have created and implemented an emergency noti¬fication system. This allows us to report concerns, and even alert the entire community if necessary. Click here to sign up for notifications.


We're in the middle of it all. City Ave is conveniently located between downtown Philadelphia and the region's western suburbs, with easy accessibility to Center City, University City, the Philadelphia International Airport, New Jersey, and the Philadelphia suburbs. We have a convenient mix of transportation options, including an extensive network of highways and roadways, as well as service by three SEPTA Regional Rail lines, and seven bus lines. But that's not all. The City Ave District continues to improve automotive transportation as well, with street light signal updates and connectivity studies to enhance accessibility and flow throughout the area.


New zoning brings a vibrant new feel to City Ave. The City Ave District worked in partnership with the City of Philadelphia to pass a zoning overlay in 2009 and Lower Merion Township to pass a rezoning ordinance in April 2012, continuing the transformation of the area. The new zoning encourages pedestrian-friendly, transit-oriented, mixed-use development. This means more street-level retail storefronts, more residential options, new public plazas, and higher-quality office space. With the new zoning in place, we are actively marketing the area to the real estate community, further bringing our vision to life.

About City Ave

No doubt about it, this is the place to be. The City Ave District encompasses parts of Lower Merion Township in Montgomery County and the City of Philadelphia along the City Avenue corridor (Route 1). The District is nearly three miles long and offers a range of uses including office, commercial, retail, residential, educational, and cultural. City Ave is distinctly unique environment, with:

  • The second densest office market in the Philadelphia region.
  • The region's center of television and radio broadcasting.
  • Two major universities – Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and Saint Joseph's University.
  • More than 130 shops and restaurants.
  • Six diverse neighborhoods encompassing Philadelphia and Montgomery counties.
  • Three major hotels with more than 650 guest rooms and suites.
  • Parks, trails, and recreational areas, including Bala Cynwyd Park, Merion Botanical Park, and Cynwyd Heritage Trail.
  • Fabulous landmarks and historical places such as The Barnes Foundation Arboretum at Merion Botanical Park, the Schuylkill River Trail, and West Laurel Hill Cemetery.
  • Weekly Farmer's Markets in Bala Cynwyd and Overbrook.

Click here to view a map of the City Ave District.