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 (EIN 75-3131452) 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 a businesses services agreement with the City of Takoma Park, MD.

2024 Board Members:

  • Carolina McCandless, owner of Cielo Rojo, 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
  • Zoe Stern, Resident, Chairperson / Organization Committee
  • Rocco Casagrande, owner Gryphon Scientific and Resident, At-Large Board Member
  • David Boyd, owner Takoma Station Tavern, At-Large Board Member
  • Carter Dougherty, Resident, At-Large Board Member
  • Matthew Lyons, DC Resident, At-Large Board Member
  • Bruce Levin, commercial property owner, At-Large Board Member
  • Mike Houston, GM TPSS Co-op At Large Board Member
  • Erin Palmer, ANC 4B02, At Large Board Member
  • Elizabeth Brinkama, Resident, At Large Board Member
  • Ian Palmiero, owner of Scissor and Comb Salon and Georgie’s Barber, At Large Board Member

Main Street Takoma – An OTBA Initiative

Takoma Park, MD is one of 33 designated Maryland Main Streets and was awarded by the State of Maryland in 2004. 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.

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

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, Pride, Takoma Trukgarten, Pajamarama, and more. (SSL Hours available for students).

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

  • Finding Financing for Local Businesses including managing the OTBA’s Revolving Loan fund and Takoma Notes
  • Parking Availability Assessment
  • Quarterly Membership Meetings

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

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