Push for 86th Street Area Business Improvement District Takes First Public Step

11/06/2015

New York, NY –  A major push for a Business Improvement District on East 86th Street and the surrounding areas launched this week, with a “District Needs Survey” sent to local property owners and residents. The BID comes in response to heavy concern from the community over the state of the neighborhood’s central commerce corridor, and would provide funds to supplement services based on the results of the survey. Such services could include sidewalk sweeping, trash pickup, Big Belly solar compactor maintenance, rodent control, public safety and small business support.
 
The District Needs Survey, which can be completed at BenKallos.com/BIDSurvey and was mailed this week to businesses, property owners, and residents, is the first announcement to the neighborhood of this effort. Community stakeholders have a voice through the survey to identify the area’s needs and issues they would like to see addressed.
 
The 86th Street corridor receives heavy foot traffic from the M86 SBS and the 86thstreet (4)(5)(6) subway stop, which is one of the city’s 10 busiest, with 20.7 million riders per year, on par with Penn Station.
 
“This community has faced a long-standing problem with conditions on and around 86thStreet. This corridor’s needs are too great for band-aids or one-off fixes. A BID will provide the supplementary support this neighborhood needs and is long overdue,” said Council Member Ben Kallos, who is helping to lead the effort and provided $22,000 in this year’s city budget for the creation of the BID through the City Council’s Neighborhood Development Grant Initiative.
 
The BID would require final approval from the City Council, and both local council members, Ben Kallos and Dan Garodnick, are actively supporting the plan. 

"Both business owners and residents will see significant improvements to the neighborhood with the creation of a Business Improvement District," said Council Member Dan Garodnick. "This area needs the extra attention that a BID can deliver, and I look forward to helping bring it to fruition."

Susan Gottridge, Vice President for Streetscape of the East 86th Street Association, currently serves as the interim chair of the BID Steering Committee. “The East 86th Street area is rife with overflowing trash cans, street vendors ignoring the rules and other quality of life issues,” said Susan Gottridge. “BIDs have solved these same issues in other areas of The City – the time is right for our area to create a BID.”

The BID also has the support of local property owners, the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, Carnegie Hill Neighbors, State Senator Liz Krueger, and Assembly Members Rebecca Seawright and Dan Quart.
 
“Businesses on the Upper East Side have long sought the benefits that this BID would bring," said Nancy Ploeger, President of the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce. "Thank you to Council Members Ben Kallos and Dan Garodnick for bringing all of the stakeholders to the table so that we can move forward with this BID Proposal, which would make the 86th Street area not just a commuter’s hub, but a destination.“ President of Carnegie Hill Neighbors Lo van der Valk said, "East 86th Steet is an important anchor of the area, and to have it consistently provided with better sanitation and security would benefit many of the adjacent neighborhoods, including Carnegie Hill."
 
"Many in our community have identified a real need for more action to protect and improve the quality of life on the Upper East Side,” said State Senator Liz Krueger. “In other parts of the city, BIDs have been effective tools for addressing these sorts of neighborhood concerns. I look forward to continuing to work with community members, and with Council Members Kallos and Garodnick, to make sure the blocks around 86th street remain a great place to live, work, and play."
 
Assembly Member Dan Quart said, “For many years, residents and businesses in the 86th Street area have struggled with adequate trash pick-up and other quality of life issues. I'm pleased to stand behind local community leaders organizing to improve their neighborhood.”
 
 “The 86th Street corridor has been struggling to remain clean for a number of years.  Now the issue seems to be spreading beyond 86th and onto smaller, less trafficked streets in the neighborhood,” Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright said.  “Our office has heard the community’s outrage over the current state of our streets and we are hopeful that an East 86th Street BID will address the problems that this neighborhood has been experiencing,” she continued. “Filthy streets are bad for business, horrible for the community and unsanitary. We cannot let garbage-filled streets become the new norm.  The time for action is now.”
 
More information on this BID is available at BenKallos.com/BID, including a PDF of the survey.
 
A business improvement district (BID) is a non-profit authorized by the public, run by property owners, commercial tenants & residents. They are funded through property owner assessments, fundraising, grants, banners, and other revenues. BIDs deliver supplemental services such as sanitation, public safety, marketing & branding, beautification & street improvements to a neighborhood. It is up to the community stakeholders to decide the highest priorities.
 
There are currently 72 Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) throughout New York City that have turned neighborhoods around from Flushing to Times Square.    ###