Ogontz Avenue Revitalization Corporation (OARC)

The Ogontz Avenue Revitalization Corporation (OARC) is a Not-For-Profit 501©(3) whose mission is to create and stimulate sustainable economic development through innovate and creative use of our available resources while improving the quality of life for residents in the West Oak Lane section of Philadelphia.  The vision of this organization was born out of advocacy and activism that was spearheaded by the residents of West Oak Lane and State Representative Dwight Evans.  After decades of being a vibrant commercial corridor bustling with commerce and charm, the 7100 block of Ogontz Avenue began to decline in the early 1970’s and by 1981, the Ogontz Plaza, the centerpiece of  the  West Oak Lane community had become a vacant and graffiti-scarred eyesore.  The Ogontz Hall Apartment building was plagued with undesirable conditions and many other properties on the Ogontz Avenue Commercial Corrdior were also vacant and dilapidated.  Finally, in 1983, the community had enough and led by key residents and State representative Dwight Evans they collaborated together to devise a solution for their prevailing problem.  That solution came to be known as the Ogontz Avenue Revitalization Corporation (OARC).


Following its incorporation in 1983, OARC worked with elected officials, government agencies, banks, local universities and private investors to form partnerships to take on the challenges of blight in the West Oak Lane community.  With these partnerships OARC was able to redevelop Ogontz Plaza, Ogontz Hall and ZAG Apartments which helped to restore the corridor of Ogontz Avenue and allowed for other commercial entities to bring their businesses into the community to create a economic and housing vibrancy that still exists today.  OARC’s initial Officers that led the charge was Zenobia Waridi, President, Aurelia Stephens, Vice President, Jerrildine Reed, Secretary, Dr. Mujahid Nyhuma, Treasurer, Phyllis Benson, Advisor and Sharmin Matlock Turner, Assistant to City Councilman John F. White, Jr.


After the successful completion of Ogontz Avenue, OARC started their focus on many other projects throughout West Oak Lane such as Super Saturday Festival that proceeded the West Oak Lane Jazz & Arts Festival, Business Development in bringing in National Credit Rated Corporations as tenants, Greening Solutions which planted many trees throughout West Oak Lane,  the Founding of West Oak Lane Charter School, renovation of dilapidated real estate which turned into Business Ownership and jobs on the commercial corridors, acquisition and development of vacant land which turned into revenue generation for the City of Philadelphia via real estate taxes and creation of more jobs and infusion of more residents into the community to live.   Partnership with City of Philadelphia Water Department to create 1st Rain Garden in Northwest Philadelphia which prevents overflow of water into the sewer system and development of the OARC Greenhouse which provides yearly tons of fresh fruits and vegetables to the community that we serve.


Today, OARC is led by Kimberly A. Lloyd, who left Corporate America to become the 5th President/CEO of the organization on June 30, 2014.  As a former Banker with over 35 years of professional experience, Kimberly has an extensive knowledge of Finance, Commercial Real Estate Development, Property Management and Strategic Planning. Prior to assuming the position at OARC, Kimberly’s vast resume includes positions held such as: Vice President/Mortgage Banker for GMAC Commercial Mortgage/Capmark Finance and Vice President of Commercial Lending at City National Bank.


As OARC celebrates its founding 38 years ago,  the organization is taking its nationally-recognized model of sustainable neighborhoods  to strengthen other  communities not only in Philadelphia but nationally as a platform for middle neighborhood communities.  OARC will continue  to enhance our 5 pillars:  Business  & Economic Development by providing educational, training, and public safety programs for businesses in our footprint, maintaining Housing Development in the area of senior, affordable and moderate housing, Community Engagement with elected officials, Arts & Culture by producing our nationally renowned West Oak Lane Jazz & Arts Festival to the community and Greening Solutions for Sustainable Living by recognizing middle neighborhoods are at the apex of climate control.   These pillars will allow for valuable partnerships and innovative programs to provide hope and inspiration for residents and businesses for which we serve.