Industrial business in LIC may soon be “improving.”
The city is progressing with its plan to launch Business Improvement Districts (BIDs), which are formal organizations made up of property owners who are dedicated to promoting business development and improving the quality of life in their area, in four industrial neighborhoods across the five boroughs – the west shore of Staten Island, Newtown Creek in Brooklyn, Eastchester in the Bronx and between Skillman Avenue and Borden Avenue and west of Van Dam Street in LIC.
The industrial BIDs will allow companies and properties to band together on unique issues they face, including security and sanitation problems. The creation of the districts will also provide a sustainable source of funding to support ongoing maintenance and capital improvements in the areas.
“The Bloomberg administration is once again demonstrating its commitment to supporting and expanding the city’s industrial sector,” said Economic Development Corporation (EDC) President Seth Pinsky. “The creation of up to four industrial BIDs will allow industrial businesses across the city to work collectively to overcome the unique challenges they face, ultimately providing a major boost to a critical sector of our city’s economy.”
Commercial BIDs, which provide supplement services to the community through a special assessment payment from companies’ properties, have proven to be successful in transforming neighborhoods across the city – including Times Square and Bryant Park.
“I am pleased the EDC has chosen LIC for the creation of one of the first Industrial BIDs,” said
Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer. “This initiative will create a sustainable source of funding that will provide flexibility within our industrial business zone in order to adapt to the changing economic environment in western Queens. Supporting industrial businesses ensures we will have a firm foundation of good paying jobs in Queens for many years to come.”
The EDC announced on April 10 that it has chosen the four local organizations that will lead the planning of the industrial BID formation in their respective neighborhoods over the next year. The LIC Partnership, which has already created a commercial BID in Queens Plaza and Jackson Avenue in LIC, was chosen as the consultant for its western Queens community based on its response to a Request For Proposals issued in December of 2011.
“LIC is home to the largest concentration of industrial businesses in New York City,” said Gayle Baron, president of the LIC Partnership. “The creation of an industrial BID in our neighborhood will further strengthen this very important business sector. Building upon our ongoing services to industrial businesses, we look forward to increasing this assistance by providing sustainable, innovative and customized services leading to an improved bottom line, business growth and new job creation for LIC’s industrial firms.”
All of the selected organizations have proposed a variety of innovative services that could be provided to businesses within the industrial BID, such as cost sharing for infrastructure improvements and waste removal services, group purchasing of health care and coordinated shipping of imports and exports.
Dan Miner, the senior vice president of business services for the LIC Partnership, believes creating the BID in LIC would provide industrial businesses with services they are currently without – increasing efficiency, market share or profits in the process.
The subsequent steps in the formation of the BIDs include outreach and authorization, which requires the approval of at least 50 percent of the property owners.
The city’s Industrial Development Agency (IDA) recently approved a purchase contract of up to $300,000 to assist the organizations as they work to create the districts.