By Steve Tawa

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Community leaders today gathered in West Philadelphia to give a shout-out to the 52nd Street corridor.

Mayor Nutter told community leaders that, back in the day, 52nd Street had issues — or, as he put it, “At times, 52nd Street was just a hot mess.”

But The Strip, as the neighbors call it, is on a roll again, and the mayor and community leaders are gratified to see the results of nearly $300,000 in storefront improvements.

“What people want — whether it’s on 52nd or 16th Street — is a clean, safe, enjoyable environment to come out and spend their time or spend their money,” Nutter said today.

US congressman Chaka Fattah (at lectern in photo) secured the federal funds for the project.

“The president and the mayor have this relationship that has benefitted our city,” Fattah said today.  “Every time they want to give away money, I think they call (Mayor Nutter) first!”

The latest improvements along 52nd Street include new building façades, fresh awnings, signs, and advertising display lights, all part of a larger makeover between Arch Street and Baltimore Avenue.

Owners say the improvements give each store its own definition and help customers find them.

Top Content On CBSPhilly

Watch & Listen LIVE