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BID Touts its Achievements and Holds Elections at Annual Meeting

Board (Photo: QueensPost)

March 29, 2013 By Christian Murray

The Sunnyside Business Improvement District outlined its 2012 achievements at its annual meeting last Thursday and elected a largely unchanged board.

Rachel Thieme, the BID’s executive director, told the 60-member audience that Sunnyside Shines (aka the BID) had spent $388,000 in fiscal year 2012 with most of the funds being spent on streetscaping, sanitation and a host of local promotions.

Thieme listed many marketing and beautification programs that took place within the BID zone, which covers 38th Street to 50th Streets on Queens Blvd, and 42nd to 50th Streets along Greenpoint/Roosevelt Ave. They included:

  • 1) 45 hanging flower baskets
  • 2) The Taste of Sunnyside
  • 3) Free pictures with Santa, held at the BID’s office in December.
  • 4) Summer Streets (a series of concerts held under the arch every Saturday in August)
  • 5) Movies in the Park (Movies that took place on three Friday nights at Noonan Park)
  • 6) Seven days per week supplemental sanitation (workers picked up 60,000 bags of trash and removed 3,000 instances of graffiti during 2012)
  • 7) Holiday lights (which included four ‘Welcome to Sunnyside’ signs, 30 streamers and 26 snowflakes)
  • 8) The installation of 11 benches.
  • 9) Continued maintenance of the Sunnyside Arch

Thieme said that the BID has stepped up its efforts to combat graffiti, with the implementation of a monthly removal program. She also said that plans are in the works to create a committee to recruit businesses to Sunnyside.

The same board members were elected as last year with the exception of Patrice Lee — who is ineligible since she no longer owns a business in the district with the closing of April Glass)– and Joseph Wessely, who represented Dime Bank. Dime owned the property at the corner of 43rd and Queens Blvd. until it sold the building late last year.

The BID board, comprised of 17 members, has had very little turnover since the organization was established in 2008. The BID’s bylaws (like all NYC BIDS) require that the majority of the board members—or nine in this case– be landlords with real estate in the district.

With five city officials—as required by BID rules—also sitting on the board, there are only three other spots available. Two have been allocated to local business owners and one spot for a resident who lives within the BID borders.

Lee was replaced by Czarinna Andres, whose family owns Bing’s Hallmark on Greenpoint Avenue, while Maureen Stathis, a landlord, replaced Wessely.

Two new board positions were created (making the 17 board members), with one going to Michael Fonte of TD Bank (as a business owner) and another to Thomas Conte, a landlord who owns Conte’s Realty Corp.

As in the past, John Vogt, who is a property owner via White Castle, was re-elected as chairman; Chris Winchester, of Pickman Realty, was named vice chairman; and Arthur Weiner, of LIC Building, the treasurer.

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I like the supplemental sanitation we need more of that kind of thing. Make sunnyside a jewel


hamburglar,i do agree some graffti is art.The 5 pntz has some amazing pieces but im refering to the tagging around sunnyside .i dont see any art on the stuff sprayed around sunnyside( execept the commisioned sunnyside piece on 40th) or on top of buildings in our neighbourhood it is graffti plain and simple.

Local Hamburglar

Save 5pntz. Not all graffiti an eyesore. Some street art embraces and establishes local culture.

Dunk, I’m happy you’re posting again and I’m not trying to start a tiff but I do hope you can agree there is a difference. Even to the point where trashy graffiti that has been in place for 15 years has established itself as a local artifact.

Bimmy Jam Vramer

…hanging baskets, pics with santa…. nice but the B in your name stands for “business” and if you haven’t noticed there is an incredible amount of for rent signs. Any plans on actually working on anything related to BUSINESS? Or do we have to sit here and envy Astoria for its vibrant street business scene on main streets & side streets. Something must be fundamentally wrong Sunnyside as a place to do business, wish that would be discussed and addressed before the fun stuff.

By the way, the neon colors of the Sunnyside arch are hideous, trashy. Make it white I’m begging you.


Finally a board with some substance that can shine. Where is the technology, social media and marketing plan for small businesses to thrive in Sunnyside? Minus out the 45 hanging flower baskets from lamp post and build 1 platform that generates 45 social integrated websites for small businesses to market themselves correctly.

My opinions of course,


we are losing the graffti battle,its everywhere in this neighbourhood,look out the window of the 7 train its depressing.


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