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Local nonprofit moves to revitalize portion of 19th Avenue along light rail

(19 North Photo/Shannon McBride)

PHOENIX — A makeover is under way along an area of 19th Avenue where the light rail runs to try to revitalize the area.

“There’s a rebranding of the area, so we’ve named it 19 North,” said Shannon McBride, chairperson of the nonprofit 19 North. “And that’s Montebello to Dunlap, 15th Ave to 23rd.”

There were some safety issues that happened.

Crime had gone up with the construction, she said. Several local organizations were trying to make a difference, but the nonprofit was a way for them to pool those resources together.

The group 19 North is made up of several partners, including local schools, city faith communities, Councilman Daniel Valenzuela’s office, city of Phoenix Neighborhood Services and Village Planning and several other local businesses.

“We’re right on the light rail, we’re one of those people that were effected,” McBride said, who also is the pastor of community and fellowship and Open Door Fellowship church on 19th Avenue.

Upcoming revitalization efforts include employment summits, a community garden, mentoring programs and an overall re-branding with signs and banners going up all along 19th Avenue in that area.

The banners being installed Monday say things like “Reliable Businesses,” “Responsive Government,” “Excellent Schools” and “World Class Hospital.”

“It’s about building community identity,” McBride said. “We are transforming this area into a safe walkable community that everyone can enjoy.”