January 2023 Member Spotlight: East Falls Development Corporation

East Falls Development Corporation is a not-for-profit entity dedicated to community-based economic development for the benefit of East Falls.

Business Association meeting with CCP’s Power Up Your Biz program Day of service at the new East Falls River Landing

We spoke with Michelle Feldman at East Falls Development Corporation:

Tell us about how you got your start at East Falls Development Corporation

I began my tenure at the East Falls Development Corporation in May of 2021 – and have been grateful for the support I’ve received from our Board, business owners, residents, and community leaders since day one. From our new boat launch – the East Falls River Landing (more below!)  to reconvening our Business Association and receiving generous funding for two community planning studies from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, it has been both an exciting – and fun! – year and a half.

What do you love most about the work you and your colleagues do?

It is hard to choose what I love most!

That said, I truly love working with our wonderful merchants – getting to hear their stories, learn about the work they do, and try to support their dreams. I love celebrating their wins, trying to assist them in racking up more wins on the board – and bringing them together through our Business Association to build our entire community of East Falls entrepreneurs.

What would you like young people and others in the community to know about this program?

First and foremost, there are a lot of wonderful small businesses in East Falls – and we have a lot to do in our neighborhood, including but not only:

  • A new recreational facility on the 4400 block of Kelly Drive, the East Falls River Landing, for nonmotorized boating, fishing, boating and more.
  • A new music and events venue, The Fallser Club (3721 Midvale Avenue).
  • A weekly Farmers Market and seasonal Beer Garden at the Parking Lot our organization manages, located at 4100 Ridge Avenue.

There are also a lot of ways to get involved in our work. We have an active Communications Committee dedicated to telling the stories of our entrepreneurs, and an active Corridor Management Committee working on large-scale, exciting projects to revitalize and reimagine our two commercial districts. Join us!

What advice would you give to someone who wants to enter into the type of work and programming you do?

Reach out to someone involved in community and economic development to learn what it’s like to do this type of work day in and day out. This is a fulfilling and fun industry and profession to be a part of, and I have found everyone I work with to be generous with their time, resources, insights, and network.

What’s on the horizon for East Falls Development Corporation? What are you excited about in the future?

The East Falls Development Corporation is excited for what this year has in store, and how it will help us build the foundation for a stronger, more vibrant business district.

We will be:

  • Embarking on two planning studies generously funded by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development — a Transportation Study and a Flood Mitigation Study with our friends at the Manayunk Development Corporation.
  • Continuing to build the leadership of our Business Association.
    Working to enhance the East Falls River Landing — a new boat launch on the 4400 block of Kelly Drive, spearheaded by our organization — along with the volunteer-run Friends Group.
  • And more!

We hope you will follow along at discovereastfalls.org, and on Instagram and Facebook!