Glendale biz owners debate creation of BID
by Patrick Kearns
Mar 08, 2017 | 1887 views | 0 0 comments | 147 147 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Approximately a dozen business owners on Myrtle Avenue in Glendale met Friday to discuss the formation of a business improvement district (BID).

The initiative is spearheaded by Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley and Queens Chamber of Commerce, who began outreach in December.

They surveyed 55 businesses and 24 said they believed a BID would be beneficial to Myrtle Avenue, 13 were opposed to a BID, and 18 needed more information.

The next step is to form a steering committee to determine the boundaries and collect feedback from local business owners before formulating a plan to submit to the City Council for approval.

To fund the BID, owners would pay higher taxes based on the physical size of their business.

Business owners that have shown initial interest argue there are a number of issues a BID could address, including garbage, a lack of parking, store vacancies, and construction projects affecting business.

“My biggest concern is vacancies,” said Mahalo Bakery co-owner Michael Shiwdin. “That leads to lack of foot traffic.”

Mitchell Todd from Carollo Real Estate suggested a BID could host organized events to increase visibility and foot traffic.

“Can there be a Myrtle Avenue street fair?” Todd asked. “Can there be events planned by the BID that bring people to the area to notice the stores?”

Some business owners expressed trepidation due to the size of the Glendale commercial strip. It pales in comparison to Ridgewood's Myrtle Avenue shopping district, which has a BID.

“We have 25 percent of the amount of businesses that are in Ridgewood,” said John Hickey, owner of New York Web Consulting, “and they’re not as high volume.”

Ted Renz, executive director of the Myrtle Avenue Business Improvement District, agreed there are more businesses in Ridgewood, but the steering committee decides on the size of the budget.

In Manhattan, there are BIDs with an operating budget of upwards of $10 million, whereas in Ridgewood the BID's budget is slightly over $500,000, he said.

Renz added that there are also grants available through government organizations to help supplement fees collected from business owners.

“The beauty of a BID is that you control your destiny and you control how you spend your money,” he said.
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