There is a hidden treasure in North Beach. That was the message a group - that's in charge of creating a vision for the area - gave to city council Tuesday.
That group presented its North Beach redevelopment initiative.
Gateway Planning is the group hired by the city to come up with a plan to tap into the North Beach area's potential.
"We feel that our beach is just as important as the other side and should be maintained," said Robert Catalano, the owner of Yo Philly Cheese Steak.
Residents and businesses have been pushing for a big revitalization project for quite some time, but not much has come out of those efforts. Now Gateway planning is working out a plan with the city to make North Beach a money making tourist spot
"There are some already fun restaurants, and bars and the beach is great. The plan is to build on that by advancing for more fabric there," said Scott Polikov president of Gateway Planning Group.
The plan includes more hotels, restaurants, retail stores, dolphin viewing, a bird watching area and even some condos. Before any of this happens, the city would need to address some of drainage and water infrastructure issues.
The new Harbor Bridge Project has also created interest in the North Beach area. Gateway planning told council members the development and investment community has already expressed an interest. Businesses and residents just hope this development and revitalization plan goes through.
"I think it's just going to grow and it been a sleeper for years. People are just now finding out about it. A lot of people are working hard to develop this area," said Catalano.
Gateway Planning and the city want feedback from the community. They'll be having two meetings, one tomorrow, the other on Thursday.
Wednesday from 2 to 4:30 in the basement of City Hall.
Thursday at the Beach Center, 3900 block of Timmons on North Beach, from 4:30 to 6.