Tag Archives: 82nd Street Partnership

Op-ed: Why a Business Improvement District will help our business


| oped@queenscourier.com


MONICA CALDERÓN

As a small business owner on Roosevelt Avenue, I understand what it is to a run mom-and-pop shop in this neighborhood. My parents immigrated to Queens and set up the business I currently run.  For over a decade, our business has served as our family pride and our lifeline, and we have called Roosevelt Avenue our home.

We love Roosevelt Avenue, but we also know that it can be better. If you look just a few blocks away at the area within the current 82nd Street Partnership, you can see the difference. The street is clean and safe, with significantly less trash and graffiti. The Partnership helped get grants to pay for new storefronts, awnings, lights and signs. Businesses benefit from free marketing and promotion through the crowds that come to the street for events like Viva La Comida, as well as online and social media promotion.

Businesses along 82nd Street have a voice and an advocate that represents their interests and needs with city government, and can connect them with free services and workshops to help them strengthen their business and succeed.

We want that extra boost, too.

The good news is that we can have it. In the coming days and weeks, business owners, residents, and property owners located on Roosevelt Avenue from 81st Street to 104th Street, as well as Junction Boulevard from 40th Road to 35th Avenue, will have a chance to vote to extend the 82nd Street Partnership boundaries to form the Jackson Heights–Corona Business Improvement District. To us it’s a no-brainer — we will be voting yes.

As small business owners in Queens face more and more challenges – online retailers, chain stores, high rents, navigating city rules and regulations – it is important that we come together as a community to create a stronger, safer and cleaner Roosevelt Avenue where people want to live, do business, and shop, at all hours, day or night. We urge our neighbors to vote yes to the Jackson Heights-Corona Business Improvement District.

For more information on the proposed Jackson Heights–Corona Business Improvement District, please visit www.JHCoronaBID.org.

Monica Calderón is an owner of L&C Accounting Service Inc.

 

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Some small business owners, residents continue to say ‘no’ to BID in Jackson Heights, Corona


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photo by Angy Altamirano

The resistance continues.

During the first of two public meetings on Thursday, some Jackson Heights and Corona residents and business owners asked their community to vote no to the expansion that would bring a business improvement district to the neighborhood. They brought up issues which the BID would bring such as gentrification, and the rising of property costs and taxes.

“Right now they say $1,000 annually, once the project gets approved then a little bit more, a little bit more they squeeze one’s throat,” said Sergio Ruiz, a business owner of 15 years, about the estimated yearly cost per lot in the district.

The 82nd Street Partnership, a nonprofit group promoting the current local BID covering four blocks and over 160 businesses, announced last year it would be extending all the way through 114th  Street to form the Jackson Heights-Corona BID. It was later revised to stretch from 82nd Street to 104th Street and down Junction Boulevard. The corridor will include a total of 440 lots and about 850 commercial tenants.

Tania Mattos, a member of the coalition Queens Neighborhoods United, said the group has been trying to educate the community on what a BID is, the voting process and options, and they have been cleaning Roosevelt Avenue every two weeks.

“Roosevelt Avenue does not need the BID,” Mattos said. “It needs the city to wake up, to realize it has neglected Roosevelt Avenue for decades and I’ve seen it personally. Instead the broken sidewalks, perishing and poorly maintained elevated train is blamed on the residents.”

According to Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras, the concept of the BID came from every community resident she had spoken to expressing concerns about the safety and cleanliness of Roosevelt Avenue.

“They want to be able to walk, they want to be able to shop, they want to be able to come with their families and contribute to the businesses,” Ferreras said. “We have a very different and very vibrant business corridor, we deserve better, we deserve to be able to have a business corridor that is vibrant, clean and safe.”

Other business owners at the meeting showed their support for the BID and tried to encourage audience members to vote yes.

“We have to give it a chance and give ourselves a chance,” said Rosita Cali, a business owner and Jackson Heights resident for 17 years. “Let’s give ourselves the room, the chance to have the opportunity to try this and also if something comes out wrong we have the right to say that it’s not right. But if we give the opportunity and this is positive, why not enjoy all the changes?”

In the upcoming weeks, business owners, residents and property owners on Roosevelt Avenue will have to vote on whether they want the BID in their community.

“The BID is really an advocate for the business community, the goal here is to improve the shopping environment, make it cleaner, safer, more inviting and better for the small business,” said Seth Taylor, executive director of the 82nd Street Partnership.

For more information, visit JHCoronaBID.org.

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST 

Monday: Sunny. High 62. Winds SE at 5 to 10 mph. Monday night: A few passing clouds. Low 44. Winds S at 5 to 10 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Restaurant letter-grade and fine system changes forum

State Sen. Jose Peralta, in conjunction with the 82nd Street Partnership, is hosting a forum for restaurateurs and small business owners to learn about proposed changes to the restaurant letter-grade and fine system and the new paid sick leave law. Officials from the city’s Departments of Health and Mental Hygiene and Consumer Affairs will detail the proposed changes and respond to questions. Representatives from the Department of Small Business Services will be on hand to talk about small business access to capital and offer help in navigating city agencies. Monday, April 21, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., at the Langston Hughes Library, 100th Street and Northern Boulevard in Corona. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

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82nd Street Partnership unveils restoration of historic Jackson Heights building


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photos Courtesy of the 82nd Street Partnership

Together with the Jackson Heights Historic District, the 82nd Street Partnership has unveiled a restoration which marks the beginning of bringing a new look to the diverse area.

The 82nd Street Partnership gathered with representatives from the City’s Department of Small Business Services (SBS), Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC), community leaders, groups and merchants to unveil the restoration of a historic building at 82-01 Roosevelt Avenue.

The Tuesday unveiling was the beginning of the “Storefront Restoration Program” which will restore building façades and enhance the district’s sense of place by the end of the year.

The 82nd Street Partnership was one of the seven Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) which won SBS’ 2013 “Neighborhood Challenge” initiative with the goal to encourage innovation and creativity in local economic development programming.

Investing in the $50,000 award it received from the “challenge,” the BID set out to support property owners and merchants in Jackson Heights by assisting them with free design assistance and offering a matching construction grant as part of the new restoration program.

By the end of the year the program will have renovated seven ground floor and three upper floor storefronts at three properties on 82nd Street between 37th and Roosevelt Avenue enhancing the “look and feel” of the area by making the businesses more attractive and inviting to a larger group of customers.

Before

After

The overall restorations will help bring improvements to the area’s quality of life, help preserve retail diversity and improve business conditions, according to the 82nd Street Partnership.

Along with the restorations, the program will also remove 20 LPC violations from three properties.

 

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New Jackson Heights plaza to help revitalize neighborhood


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy the 82nd Street Partnership

A new Jackson Heights community plaza is bringing color and flowers to an area where two recent daytime murders left business owners and residents concerned for their safety.

The 82nd Street Partnership and Councilmember Julissa Ferreras announced the formation of the temporary 90th Street plaza under the No. 7 train at the intersection of 90th Street and Roosevelt Avenue.

“Considering that two murders recently occurred in this area, the reclaiming of this space could not come at a better time,” said Ferreras. “What our community desperately needs right now is to feel that we can work through whatever issues arise and be more united for it.”

In September, Ever Orozco, 69, was fatally stabbed by Steven Torres, 22, after taking his wife to her routine doctor’s visit on 90th Street. A few days later, a 33-year-old man was found dead with gunshot wounds to his head and neck just a block away.

The temporary plaza, which currently features colorful tables and chairs, is just a taste of one of the many things the new Jackson Heights-Corona Business Improvement District (BID) would bring to beautify and create a cleaner and safer community.

After getting feedback from the community, the BID will present the community vision to the Parks Department in hopes of getting the capital funding to renovate the plaza space and install permanent tables, chairs and planted flowers.

“It’s a visual improvement but it’s also a social improvement, because it makes that space a social space and it puts more eyes on the space,” said Seth Taylor, executive director of the 82nd Street Partnership. “The important piece here is that this is an example of the type of work the BID is looking to do along Roosevelt Avenue, this is a scaled down version.”

A before photo of the plaza. 

If the community votes to accept the Jackson Heights-Corona BID by the end of this year, then it would be up and running by the time a permanent plaza could be installed and it would serve as the city’s maintenance partner of the space. The BID also hopes to work with local cultural institutions to curate art and cultural events in the plaza.

“The formation of the Jackson Heights-Corona Business Improvement District would greatly assist our community in taking a major step in the right direction,” said Ferreras.

The 82nd Street Partnership will host the 90th Street Plaza Visioning Day on Sunday, November 3 from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the plaza where community members can come and give their ideas for a future permanent space. The Uni, a pop-up reading room, will also be present at the site on Sunday. For more information visit www.CleanerSaferRoosevelt.org.

 

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Jackson Heights-Corona BID shortens boundaries


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Maps courtesy of the 82nd Street Partnership

For the cost of a coffee and empanada, businesses and property owners along Roosevelt Avenue will be able to see a cleaner and safer community.

In March, the 82nd Street Partnership announced it would be extending its business improvement district (BID) through 114th Street to form the Jackson Heights-Corona BID. The new BID included the corridors of Roosevelt Avenue, Junction Boulevard, 103rd Street and National Street.

But after taking in community feedback and comments, and based on the Department of City Planning’s proposed plan to rezone 14 block fronts on Roosevelt Avenue as part of the East Elmhurst Rezoning, the BID has been revised to stretch from 82nd to 104th Street and down Junction Boulevard. The corridor will include a total of 440 lots and about 850 commercial tenants.

By shortening the corridor by 10 blocks, Seth Taylor, executive director of the 82nd Street Partnership, said the BID’s new budget will be close to $860,000, which is less than the original over $1 million budget, making the BID “more affordable.”

According to Councilmember Julissa Ferreras the major issues – including lack of sanitation, graffiti, crime and poor lighting – are most commonly found along the revised boundaries.

“I remain confident that the proposed expansion will continue to address and remediate these quality of life issues in addition to enhancing the overall shopping and visiting experience in the area,” said Ferreras.

In response to recent criticisms saying the BID will push out the immigrant community with raising rents and taxes, Taylor said the investment property owners will have to make would only equal the price of a cup of coffee and empanada daily. Most property owners would contribute an average of $2.50 per day or $75 per month.

Some other things the BID hopes to bring to the community are more events in public spaces, which will be featured on its official website, and bring Wi-Fi to Roosevelt Avenue.

In order to keep the community informed and answer questions, the 82nd Street Partnership has been holding numerous public information meetings since the beginning of the year. The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, October 17 at 4 p.m. at the Make the Road New York office located at 92-10 Roosevelt Avenue.

Ballots to vote for the BID will be sent out later this year to all members of the proposed corridors, including residents, property and business owners. For more information, visit JHCoronaBID.org.

 

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Viva La Comida brings food and fun to Jackson Heights


| editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photos by Johann Hamilton

JOHANN HAMILTON

For the second year in a row, Viva La Comida lives on.

Hundreds of hungry New Yorkers descended upon 82nd Street in Jackson Heights on Friday, September 20 to take part in Viva La Comida, a festival featuring some of the best food in New York City. Combined with fantastic music, party-goers ate and danced the night away in one of the borough’s most dynamic and diverse neighborhoods.

“I was hoping they would have this event again this year, but I didn’t know if it was actually happening” said Will Morales, who moved to Jackson Heights with his family shortly before last year’s festival. “Seeing people here of all different cultures having a good time makes us feel so welcomed here. Hopefully this becomes an annual tradition.”

Viva La Comida, which basically translates to “Long Live Food,” offers not only some of the best fare in the city, but also an art exhibition from Hibridos Collective, an interdisciplinary organization that seeks to use community-based art practices to re-shape how people see their neighborhood. There was also live music from various bands, as well as a dance competition.

“Events like this are what make this city so great,” said Adelia Evans. “I love that we live in a city with this much variety. I don’t just mean cultural variety, but variety of food and music, too.”

Viva La Comida was started last year by the 82nd Street Partnership. By highlighting the cultural diversity of Jackson Heights, Viva La Comida is instrumental in promoting the small businesses in the area, as well as encouraging entrepreneurs to start their own businesses. More information can be found at www.vivalacomida.com.

 

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MTA in talks to improve Jackson Heights subway station


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ File photos

The future is starting to look brighter as the 82nd Street Partnership begins talks with the MTA on better conditions and lighting at a Jackson Heights subway station.

The Partnership met with representatives from MTA/New York City Transit on September 12 to discuss enhancements to the 82nd Street subway station, as well as along the underpass of the elevated No. 7 train on Roosevelt Avenue. The group discussed the condition and structure of the station and underpass.

“I think it went well,” said Cheryl Tse, project consultant for the 82nd Street Partnership. “It’s the beginning of a conversation of the improvements we can bring to the 82nd Street station and the No. 7 train line.”

In August, as Tse was on her commute home waiting on the No. 7 train platform at the 82nd Street and Roosevelt Avenue subway station, she found a total of four signs with an “e” missing on the word “Roosevelt.” Although the signs were fixed the next day, Tse told The Courier there are many other issues the MTA has to address to make it a better experience for commuters and pedestrians.

During the meeting, Tse, along with other members of the 82nd Street Partnership, expressed the community’s concerns with the station and the surrounding area. They also presented lighting designer Leni Schwendinger’s proposal of improving outdoor lighting and enhancing public spaces along Roosevelt Avenue and 82nd Street.

According to Tse, there will be a capital improvement project beginning in 2016 which will repaint support beams along the No. 7 line. The group was also directed to the MTA’s Arts for Transit program in order to explore potential opportunities of bringing art from local artists to the subway station.

“It was more to get everyone in the same room, to bring their attention to the issues at 82nd Street and along the No. 7 train,” said Tse. “We’re grateful the New York City Transit was able to meet with us to navigate channels and bring the change that we want. We’re hopeful.”

After also pinpointing noise pollution from the No. 7 line, Tse said the group was told new and quieter trains would soon be used. There was no exact date given.

Although the capital improvement project is not set to begin until 2016, the 82nd Street Partnership will organize workshops and community visioning events so residents and business owners can give their suggestions and designs. Schwendinger is also expected to present her final improved lighting proposal by mid-October.

If you have any ideas and feedback, contact the 82nd Street Partnership via Twitter @82ndStQueens or visit www.82ndstreet.org.

 

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Misspelled signs highlight bigger issues at Jackson Heights subway station: neighborhood group


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Cheryl Tse

A spelling error was an easy fix, but according to the 82nd Street Partnership, there are bigger issues the MTA needs to look into at a Jackson Heights subway station.

On August 5, as Cheryl Tse, project consultant for the 82nd Street Partnership, was on her commute home waiting on the No. 7 train platform at the 82nd Street and Roosevelt Avenue subway station, she looked up to find an “e’” missing on the word “Roosevelt.”

“I just noticed it because it was such a beautiful day, I walked out and was enjoying the sun and I turned around and saw the sign,” said Tse, who then noticed the signs across the platform were also misspelled. “I couldn’t believe it.”

A total of four signs at the 82nd Street subway station misspelled the word “Roosevelt” as “Roosvelt” and were up for approximately one year, said the MTA.

“It showed lack of attention to detail,” said Tse.

After posting a photo on Twitter of her finding, word of the misspelling spread and made it to the MTA’s attention. By the afternoon the next day, the signs were fixed.

Yet Tse said that although this problem was an easy and quick fix there are many other issues the

MTA has to address to improve the subway station and underpass in order to make it a better experience for commuters and pedestrians.

The 82nd Street Partnership will meet with the MTA on September 12 to discuss enhancements to the 82nd Street subway station, as well as along the underpass of the elevated No. 7 train. The group will bring up the condition of the general station and structure of the station and underpass.

If you have any ideas and feedback you would like to share with the MTA, contact the 82nd Street Partnership via Twitter @82StQueens.

 

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82nd Street Partnership unveils new look for Roosevelt Avenue


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Renderings courtesy of 82nd Street Partnership

Take a look at what the 82nd Street Partnership has in store for Roosevelt Avenue.

On Wednesday, June 19, the group revealed streetscape renderings for public spaces within the Jackson Heights-Corona Business Improvement District (BID) expansion area.

In March, the 82nd Street Partnership announced plans to expand its BID to include corridors of Roosevelt Avenue, Junction Boulevard, 103rd Street and National Street. This expansion will become a community-driven effort including property owners, businesses, residents, public officials and other stakeholders. The goal is to improve the strip’s sense of place.

In the past four months, the 82nd Street Partnership has met with businesses and collected more than 300 surveys from residents as well as property and business owners. The undertaking received support from community and economic development groups including the Queens Chamber of Commerce, Queens Economic Development Corporation, Corona Community Action Network (Corona CAN), Make the Road NY and Immigrant Movement International.

After gathering the information, the partnership created conceptual renderings depicting the vision of the community for the Jackson Heights-Corona commercial district once the BID gets underway in 2014.

In the renderings, Roosevelt Avenue is shown with improvements including new planted trees, street tables and chairs, flowers, outdoor café seating, lighting, banners, benches, bicycle racks, brighter lights and renovated storefronts with new awnings and swings.

“The business community envisions sidewalks and public spaces along the commercial corridor to be inviting, enjoyable places where people of all ages and backgrounds can relax and feel comfortable – as is depicted in the rendering,” said Seth Taylor, executive director of the 82nd Street Partnership. “The community envisions a commercial corridor where people can comfortably and safely stroll all hours of the day and night.”

The BID hopes to improve the quality of life and support the local economic activity in the neighborhood by making the area cleaner, safer, brighter and more enjoyable.

“The Jackson Heights – Corona BID looks forward to helping the community realize its exciting vision for the future,” said Taylor.

For more information, visit www.JHCoronaBID.org.

 

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Community boards OK rezoning for East Elmhurst, Corona


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

locator_map

Proposed rezoning of parts of East Elmhurst and Corona seems to be on track, with approvals from both Community Boards (CB) 3 and 4.

The Department of City Planning received the go-ahead from the boards — a first step since Commissioner Amanda Burden’s June 3 announcement of the beginning of the official public review process of a 127-block rezoning of East Elmhurst and 14 block fronts along Roosevelt Avenue in Corona.

The objective of the rezoning is to protect the current character of East Elmhurst’s residential blocks, which are made up of one- and two-family detached, semi-detached and attached homes.

“This rezoning, which was developed in close consultation with the community and local elected officials, will protect the cherished one- and two-family composition of this neighborhood,” said Burden.

The proposal also looks to update commercial overlays in order to reinforce the main commercial corridors, better reflect current land use trends and constrain commercial incursions onto residential streets. The rezoning will aim to strengthen the character of Astoria Boulevard and help it stand out from residential streets.

The 14 block fronts along Roosevelt Avenue that are included in the rezoning proposal will also help increase development in the area. For example it will allow the 82nd Street Partnership’s Jackson Heights-Corona Business Improvement District to provide services for the merchants and community on the busy strip.

“Though currently zoned for residential use, we’re seeing increased commercial activity along the stretch of Roosevelt Avenue from Elmhurst Avenue to 114th Street,” said Seth Taylor, executive director of the 82nd Street Partnership.

“The rezoning pairs nicely with the proposed Jackson Heights- Corona BID, which would promote local economic growth and be a positive force for the entire commercial corridor.”

The rezoning proposal will now be reviewed by the Borough Board, Borough President, the City Planning Commission and then the City Council.

 

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Jackson Heights, Corona get ‘taste’ of better living thru business improvement district


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Councilmember Julissa Ferreras

Businesses, property owners and residents along Roosevelt Avenue and Junction Boulevard are getting a taste of how being a business improvement district (BID) can improve their quality of life.

Councilmember Julissa Ferreras announced sanitation and graffiti removal services for the areas. They come as part of her New Deal for Roosevelt Avenue, which promised a “taste” of services to be offered by the Jackson Heights-Corona BID.

The “Taste of the BID” is a partnership between Ferreras, the Department of Small Business Services, the 82nd Street Partnership and local property owners. The Jackson Heights-Corona BID itself, which is still being formed, will cover the major commercial corridors of Roosevelt Avenue, Junction Boulevard and 103rd Street.

“By bringing new sanitation crews to our heavily-trafficked business corridors like Roosevelt Avenue and Junction Boulevard, we are not only increasing safety and cleanliness,” Ferreras said. “We are also helping to drive new customers to our local businesses.”

Seth Taylor, executive director of the 82nd Street Partnership, touted further pluses.

“Merchants and property owners along Roosevelt Avenue and Junction Boulevard will begin to see how cleaner sidewalks can make the neighborhood a better place to shop and stroll,” he said Seth Taylor. “We are delighted that the community is getting a small taste of what the proposed Jackson Heights-Corona BID will do to improve quality of life, and we are encouraged by the growing support for the BID.”

The “Taste of the BID” is expected to run until the end of the year, with cleaning ambassadors in the area every day of the week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The services will cover Roosevelt Avenue from 82nd Street to 114th Street and Junction Boulevard and 103rd Street off Roosevelt Avenue.

“New sanitation crews have already begun to make a difference along Roosevelt Avenue through cleaner and brighter streets,” said Rob Walsh, commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services. “By providing this neighborhood with a taste of what a BID can offer, this commercial corridor will only continue to get stronger.”

 

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Op-Ed: BID will improve quality of life, economics


| oped@queenscourier.com


BY SETH TAYLOR

Earlier this year, Councilmember Julissa Ferreras announced a “New Deal for Roosevelt Avenue,” a holistic seven-point plan that aims to revitalize what is widely known as one of New York City’s most bustling, yet uncared for, commercial corridors.

Among the seven points is the creation of a “better business environment.” To accomplish this goal, neighborhood businesses, property owners and residents are now discussing a district plan that would expand the boundaries of the 82nd Street Partnership, a vibrant business improvement district (BID) founded in 1990, to include the busy but under-resourced stretch of Roosevelt Avenue to 114th Street.

The new Jackson Heights–Corona BID would also include vital corridors off the Roosevelt Avenue artery; namely, Junction Boulevard, 103rd Street, Corona Plaza and National Street.

Encompassing about 40 blocks with over 1,000 businesses, many of which are owned or operated by immigrant entrepreneurs, the Jackson Heights-Corona BID would become one of the city’s larger and most diverse BIDs. It would give this unique commercial district the resources and organizational capacity it needs to improve quality of life, promote local economic growth and, perhaps most importantly, plan for its future.

In planning the new Jackson Heights-Corona BID, the 82nd Street Partnership has been organizing numerous meetings and workshops with help from local groups including Make the Road New York, the Queens Chamber of Commerce, Immigrant Movement International (in conjunction with the Queens Museum of Art), Junction Boulevard Merchants Association, the Corona Community Action Network, Queens Economic Development Corporation and the city’s Department of Small Business Services. Under the leadership of Commissioner Robert Walsh, the Department of Small Business Services has successfully launched 24 BIDs citywide since 2002, with 20 of them outside Manhattan.

To further guide the BID planning process, a steering committee composed of small business owners, property owners and residents has been meeting regularly since January of this year. And a dedicated trilingual merchant organizing team has been making daily door-to-door visits to businesses. The team has collected dozens of surveys and fielded comments about the proposed BID.

Based on the extensive community input we have received thus far, the Jackson Heights–Corona BID would create a better business environment by investing in the following core programs and services:

• Sanitation, maintenance and graffiti removal: The BID’s clean team will sweep sidewalk litter, empty litter baskets, remove all graffiti from public and private property, pressure-wash sidewalks to remove pigeon droppings, paint street furniture and shovel snow from crosswalks and bus stops.

• Advocacy and small business assistance: The BID will work closely with city government agencies including police, sanitation, parks, transportation, small business services, consumer affairs and the mayor’s office, among others, to foster a business-friendly environment.

• Public space improvements: The BID will work with the city to create public spaces that are inviting and comfortable. New street trees, brighter lighting, more bicycle parking, outdoor art and new benches are some of the improvements we can expect to see.

• Marketing and events: The BID will create a shopping directory and website, organize outdoor events and promote the corridors as great places to shop and visit year-round.

As more stakeholders learn about the Jackson Heights–Corona BID plan, it is encouraging to see support steadily grow. Over the next few months, we look forward to continuing our outreach, and we encourage everyone who has a stake in the district to please get involved in this monumental neighborhood-improvement effort.

For more info on the proposed Jackson Heights–Corona BID, please visit www.JHCoronaBID.org.

Seth Taylor is executive director for the 82nd Street Partnership.

82nd Street Partnership expands business improvement district


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Logo Courtesy of the 82nd Street Partnership

The 82nd Street Partnership will now extend all the way through 114th Street as part of the New Deal for Roosevelt Avenue announced by Councilmember Julissa Ferreras.

“The 82nd Street Partnership is thrilled to announce this endeavor of expanding our business improvement district to include the major commercial corridors of Roosevelt Avenue, Junction Boulevard, 103rd Street and National Street,” said Seth Taylor, executive director of the 82nd Street Partnership.

In this expansion, the 82nd Street Partnership will form the Jackson Heights-Corona Business Improvement District (BID). This will become a community-driven effort including property owners, businesses, residents, public officials and other stakeholders that will improve the strip’s “sense of place.”

“The future BID will work to improve quality of life and support local economic activity in the neighborhood by creating a cleaner, safer, brighter, and overall more enjoyable place for everyone,” said Taylor.

Under the leadership of Ferreras and the BID’s steering committee, it will work with community boards and city government agencies, like the Department of Sanitation, to certify all the city services and resources will be delivered to the neighborhood.

According to Robert Walsh, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services, Roosevelt Avenue will continue to flourish once the change, which was brought to the stretch on 82nd Street years ago by the 82nd Street Partnership, is replicated throughout the community.

In addition to the expansion, $350,000 in funding, from Mayor Bloomberg’s office in union with Small Business Services, was secured for a “Taste of the BID.” This “taste” will introduce local business owners and community residents the benefits of the expanded partnership.

In the following months, the 82nd Street Partnership will work with its partners to develop the BID plan and help form the neighborhood’s future headed for a “collectively shared vision,” said Taylor.

An introductory seminar to the expansion for residents, property and business owners will be held on Tuesday, March 26 at 5:30 p.m. at 103-24 Roosevelt Avenue. To get more information on the BID, the community can visit www.jhcoronabid.org.

 

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Viva La Comida draws thousands to Jackson Heights


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Alexa Altman

Food fanatics swarmed Dunningham Triangle for Viva La Comida — a culinary and entertainment extravaganza.

Viva La Comida, which lightly translates to “celebrate food,” drew thousands of hungry guests who sampled Colombian, Peruvian and Salvadoran fare while enjoying vocalists and musical ensembles at the Friday, September 21 festival.

This celebration marks the first event hosted by the 82nd Street Partnership in Dunningham Triangle, which recently underwent renovations.

“We’re really happy with the way it went,” said 82nd Street Partnership executive director Seth Taylor of the festival. “There was a great turnout of both residents from Elmhurst and Jackson Heights but we also introduced 82nd Street to a number of people from outside the neighborhood, which was really exciting for us.”

Taylor said the partnership hopes to make Viva La Comida an annual event, adding that in coming years they hope to block off traffic and turn the affair into a full-fledged street festival. According to Taylor, community support for the event has been outstanding.

“[The feedback] has been positive,” said Taylor. “Everyone’s had really great things to say about it from the music to the food.”

Among those excited about the event are local businesses, who saw a spike in sales during the festivities.

Louie Suljovic, owner of Louie’s Pizzeria on Baxter Avenue, said business was booming on Friday. The pizzeria, which normally sees a crowd on Fridays, had a line winding out the door for nearly three hours and a full restaurant during the evening.

“We always have a pretty decent Friday but with Viva La Comida it was tremendous,” said Suljovic.

The businessman didn’t know exactly how many patrons his store had that day, but was ecstatic that people from all over the borough were coming to sample his food.

“We have really good food so when people are able to try our food and enjoy it, that’s what makes us happy,” he said.

Suljovic said he supports the possible return of Viva La Comida.

Jeff Orlick, who runs the popular food blog Iwantmorefood.com and hosts culinary tours around Queens, assembled a group of mobile food vendors to appear at Viva La Comida. The event co-producer said the festival will not only spotlight the recent renovation of Dunningham Triangle, but highlight Queens as a premier foodie junction.

“People will see it as a destination for excitement and fun and food,” said Orlick. “Hopefully people will come back more regularly.”