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Crain’s NY takes a close look at the evolution of Business Improvement Districts

Sunnyside Shines is this neighborhood's Business Improvement District

Sunnyside Shines is this neighborhood’s Business Improvement District

Sept 19, 2016 Crains NY

Excerpt

Over the years, the mission of BIDs has grown beyond sanitation and security to include services the city can’t or won’t pay for, such as planting shrubs or hiring musicians in an effort to create a welcoming street environment. But these landlord-controlled shadow governments are raising questions about the city’s ability to provide necessary services while highlighting the rewards and risks of privatizing public spaces.

BIDs have also become big businesses in their own right—Biederman is paid $586,000 a year to run BIDs around Bryant Park and West 34th Street, nearly three times what Mayor Bill de Blasio earns for running the entire city. Clearing litter from sidewalks and gutters accounts for only 25% of the $130 million the city’s BIDs spend each year. They also promote member businesses, serve as liaisons to government services and decorate shopping districts during holiday seasons. “We keep the area clean, safe and marketed,” said Michael Lambert, executive director of the Bedford-Stuyvesant BID and co- chairman of the New York City BID Association.

But as BIDs grow in size and scope, so do complaints about them. “They are cartels for landlords,” said Moshe Adler, an adjunct professor of urban planning at Columbia University. “Make no mistake, BIDs may help small businesses when it suits them. But their fundamental role is advancing the interests of property owners.”

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7 Comments

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Anonymous

Oh shut up blame fox news. Stop critiquing everybody elses comments all the time. You must be the old fart on your block who cant mind his business

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Anonymous

They should spell sunnyside in spanish on one side of the arch on 46st & qb. I would think the southside

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In My Opinion

Bryant Park used to be a drug infested neglected park before their BID helped revitalize it and now it’s a major year-round tourist destination/commercial district. Now there is outdoor yoga, movie screenings, portable library, outdoor dining in summer and a cool skating rink with exciting pop up shops in winter. That could happen in Sunnyside too with the right mix of commercial tenants willing to pay the BID to bring those initiatives here too. Sadly landlords here have yet to attract many interesting shops that bring visitors. Hopeful LIC’s BID does a better job

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Eric B.

The Sunnyside BID has done amazing things for Sunnyside. The majority of the businesses in the Sunnyside BID appreciate shines and notice the improvements in cleanliness, morale, community events and local business awareness. Also Rachel and team Rocks!

Sincerely,
Local business owner who would love to have a BID on our block.

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Oil, beef, hooked

“Biederman is paid $586,000 a year to run BIDs around Bryant Park and West 34th Street, nearly three times what Mayor Bill de Blasio earns for running the entire city.”

Sounds like a racket to me. Sort of like a mini Clinton foundation.

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#BlameFoxNews

Charity monitor, CharityWatch, says that 88% of the Clinton foundation’s money goes toward its charitable mission and gave the foundation an A rating for 2016. In 2015, based on revenue of $223 million and an expense ratio of 12% the foundation spent in excess of $26 million to complete its mission. The Bush Foundation has praised and worked hand and hand with the Clinton Foundation. Sounds like sour grapes about a successful business model. Don’t always look to knocking down the competent and successful, you should admire them then you wont come across as so jealous and uninformed.

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Sunnyside Dezien

Property owners, developers, BID Administrators and the war chests of the local City Council Member are all the beneficiaries. In their wake they leave urban blight in the form of vacant commercial buildings, dramatically increased rent for apartments and approval for an ill positioned Middle School that has bypassed the Community Board and a Public Forum to express concerns. Jackson Heights was right to block the formation of a BID. Sunnyside, not so much.

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