Creating a vital, productive and commercially active environment in downtown Reading since 1995.
The Reading Downtown Improvement District Authority (DID) was established in 1995 in response to employees' and business owners' repeated requests for a cleaner, safer downtown Reading. Recognizing that the participation of such an authority downtown was "desirable for the entire City of Reading to preserve and improve the economic vitality of the central business district," Reading City Council, the Reading Marketing Association and other stakeholders surveyed 650 employees and held over 40 meetings with downtown business and property owners to determine services and boundaries. The cleaning, security and marketing services DID provides are beyond the capabilities of the City of Reading, yet critical to the economic growth and success of center city. Through a special assessment, levied upon all commercial properties within the District, downtown Reading is a cleaner, safer and more inviting place to live, work and visit. Although a sunset provision included in the initial 1995 Plan limited DID authority to five years, in June of 2000 80% of eligible property owners voted in favor of a five-year extension through June 30, 2005. In May and June of 2005, 99% of assessed property owners agreed to expand the District from the banks of the Schuylkill River to City Park for 10 more years; a term of service that will increase the ability to attract outside funding and achieve greater cost effectiveness.
In 1995 the Reading Downtown Improvement District Authority was organized pursuant to the Business District Authority Act of 1980, an amendment to the Municipalities Authority Act of 1945. The 1980 legislation granted Business District Authorities the power to designate improvement districts within commercial areas, develop a plan for specific improvements and, with the approval of the municipal governing body, to levy assessments to pay their costs. In January 1995, Reading City Council adopted Ordinance 134-95 establishing the Reading DID. At the time, Council recognized that the participation of such an authority downtown was "desirable for the entire City of Reading to preserve and improve the economic vitality of the central business district." Prior to Council adoption of an ordinance approving the DID Final Plan in July 1995, over 40 meetings were held with business and property owners in the DID area. The services Reading DID provides to downtown Reading were established in those meetings. In October 2000, following an overwhelmingly favorable vote by District property owners, City Council passed Ordinance 20-2000, approving the DID Renewal Plan and extending the improvement district for a second five-year term.
In June 2005, Reading DID completed another renewal campaign in which property owners decided DID should continue based upon its past performance and proposed changes. Several changes to DID occurred at that time, including a ten-year duration and expansion of the District. In addition, Reading City Council incorporated modifications to the structure of DID by designating the Reading Downtown Improvement District as a Neighborhood Improvement District (NID) and the Reading Downtown Improvement District Authority as the Neighborhood Improvement District Management Association (NIDMA) for the District; however, the familiar Reading DID name and logo had not changed. A Cooperation Agreement between the City of Reading and the Reading DID defined all activities of the DID. Another five-year extension of DID was approved by the majority of property owners in the District and City Council enacted an ordinance confirming the extension in late 2015.
The Reading Downtown Improvement District Authority will be CLOSED on the following Holidays ...
New Year’s Day – Office & Ambassadors
President’s Day – Office Only
Good Friday – Office Only
Memorial Day – Office & Ambassadors
Fourth of July – Office & Ambassadors
Labor Day – Office & Ambassadors
Columbus Day – Office Only
Veteran’s Day – Office Only
Thanksgiving Day – Office & Ambassadors
The day after Thanksgiving – Office Only
Christmas Day – Office & Ambassadors
DID Escort services
Take advantage of our free DID Ambassadors vehicle escort program! We handle hundreds of requests each year. Our Ambassadors will provide a free escort to you to your vehicle as long as you’re located within the Downtown Improvement District boundaries.
Escorts are available 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Saturday. Please call 484-955-0315 at least 20 minutes in advance of needing an escort. Also, please be prepared to provide the following information when you phone in your request:
- Name and phone number of person requesting escort
- Exact time escort will be needed
- Location where you will be waiting (specific entrance/exit)
- Number of people to be escorted
Board of Directors
Daniel B. Laws, Jr.
DaBrian Marketing Group, LLC
Richard J. McDougall
Manor at Market Square
Catherine J. Montano
Community First Fund
Laura E. Cooper
Liberty Law, LLC
James M. Snyder
Retired/Stevens & Lee
The People Chronicles
Joan E. London
Kozloff Stoudt Attorneys
Charles R. Broad, MBA
Special Projects Coordinator
Carl W. Brown, Jr.
Special Events Coordinator
DID YOU KNOW?
In the 1920s there were more than 15 hotels in downtown Reading. All the rooms in the Mansion House at 5th & Penn had private baths or hot and cold running water. A tea room was attached to the American House at 4th & Penn. The New Reading Hotel at 36 S. 6th St had 50-cent lunch.