About

Old Takoma Business Association (OTBA)




OTBA-logotype-final-big (1)

The Old Takoma Business Association’s mission is to bring together businesses, residents and community organizations to build and sustain a vibrant commercial district and preserve the neighborhood’s rich history. Boundary lines are invisible to the OTBA- the focus is on the entire Takoma business district from the Takoma Junction in Takoma Park, MD to the Takoma Theater in Washington, DC.  The OTBA works on issues essential to independently-owned, local businesses and to a thriving community.

The organization is a 501(c)(3) organization and governed by a board of directors elected by the OTBA membership.  Members include area restaurants and cafes, retail and service businesses, non-profits,  government contractors, community members and more.  The OTBA is funded in part by grants from both the City of Takoma Park, MD and the District of Columbia.

2017 Board Members:

  • Rocco Casagrande, owner Gryphon Scientific, President
  • Jeff Trunzo, Resident, Vice-President
  • Preston Quesenberry, Treasurer, Resident, Chairperson / Economic Restructuring Committee
  • Ethan Landis, owner Landis Construction, Secretary
  • Sara Hayden, Resident, Chairperson / Design Committee
  • Meaghan Murphy, owner Capital City Cheesecake, Chairperson / Promotions Committee
  • Zoe Stern, Urciolo Properties, Chairperson / Organization Committee
  • David Boyd, owner Takoma Station Tavern, At-Large Board Member
  • Carter Dougherty, Resident, At-Large Board Member
  • Singh Kochhar, owner S&S Liquors, At-Large Board Member
  • Bruce Levin, property owner, At-Large Board Member
  • Lia Salza, owner Little Loft, At-Large Board Member
  • John Urciolo, Property Owner, At Large Board Member

Main Street Takoma – An OTBA Initiative

Takoma Park, MD is one of 23 designated Main Streets awarded by the State of Maryland. The Main Street Program is a preservation-based, downtown revitalization approach supported by  the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  The success of the Main Street Takoma effort depends on the active participation of both Takoma businesses, community organizations and residents. The Old Takoma Business Association oversees the work of four Main Street Committees including the Economic Restructuring Committee, the Design Committee,  the Promotions Committee and the Organization Committee.

Design
Committee Chair: Sara Hayden
The Design Committee focuses on the physical appearance and health of the community:

  • Participate in bi-annual Clean-Up Days
  • Help organize public art projects
  • Support businesses with facade changes

The Design Committee uses the following resources:

Washington, DC:
Takoma Park, DC Historic District Map: here 
National Preservation Office Design Guidelines: here

Montgomery County, MD:
Montgomery County Historic District Map: here
Montgomery County Design Guidelines for Historic Sites and Districts in Montgomery County, MD:  here

Takoma Park, MD:
Design Guidelines for Commericial Buildings in the City of Takoma Park: here

Promotion
Committee Chair: Meaghan Murphy
The Promotions Committee is responsible for events in the Old Takoma area as well as outreach and promotion:

  • Help plan and support events in Takoma. Current popular events include:Takoma Park Street Festival, Art Hop, Earth Day, Grant Avenue Market, Pajamarama, Sidewalk Sale and more. (SSL Hours available for students).

Economic Restructuring
Committee Chair: Preston Quesenberry
Economic Restructuring works on issues of business retention and recruitment and networking with the various levels of government. Projects include:

Organization Committee
Committee Chair: Zoe Stern
The Organization Committee provides the structural support for the operation. Current work includes:

  • Recruiting Volunteers
  • Website upkeep and maintenance
  • Expanding business membership