Jan. 4, 2017 By Hannah Wulkan
Following more than two years of planning, the expansion of the Long Island City Business Improvement District to include a section of Hunters Point has passed its final hurdle and was approved by the City Council today.
The city council approved legislation allowing the LIC Partnership to expand the BID beyond the current Queens Plaza/Court Square area. The legislation makes way for the LIC Partnership to establish a new BID sub district in Hunters Point, stretching along Jackson Avenue, Vernon Boulevard and 44th Drive.
The LIC Partnership, the organization running the BID, will now be able to provide services in Hunters Point such as maintenance/sanitation, marketing/promotion for local businesses, and “placemaking,” according to plan documents.
The new legislation gives the greater LIC BID an $800,000 budget for the first year, earmarking $350,000 for the “South Sub District,” or the new Hunters Point area, and $450,000 for the existing “North Sub District,” or the Queens Plaza/Court Square area that the BID already covers.
In Hunters Point, $156,550 will be set aside for maintenance, $103,450 for placemaking, meaning design, beautification or community engagement efforts for public spaces and $40,000 for marketing. Another $35,000 will be used for office and administration and there is a $15,000 contingency fund, according to the LIC Partnership proposal from May.
In Queens Plaza/Court Square, $155,000 will go to maintenance/sanitation and $86,000 will go to marketing/promotions. $20,000 will go towards the BID’s existing Ambassador program to provide visitor-oriented information such as maps. $151,000 will contribute to maintenance of public improvements already implemented along Queens Plaza, Dutch Kills Green and Jackson Avenue.
“I’m thrilled that after long last, the City Council has voted to pass the Long Island City BID expansion,” said Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, who has supported the expansion since it was proposed. “Now, even more of our neighborhood will benefit from the community development, beautification, sanitation, and marketing initiatives that have helped make Queens Plaza and Court Square the vibrant destinations they are today.”
Leading up to the city council vote, the plan was approved by Community Boards 1 and 2 and the City Planning Commission.
As with all BIDs, each property owner within the new Hunters Point sub-district will be required to pay an assessment. Most landlords pass this fee onto their tenants.
That assessment is calculated based on type of property and frontage size. In 2015, the LIC Partnership estimated that a typical Vernon Boulevard mixed-use property with 25 feet of frontage and one floor of commercial use would be charged $510 annually.
The Partnership stated that in all, 50 percent of the sub-district’s properties would be charged less than $660 annually, or $55 per month.
Properties that are entirely residential will be assessed a token $1 per year.