June 3, 2016 By Christian Murray
The Long Island City Partnership’s quest to expand its Business Improvement District into the Hunters Point area took a significant step forward last night.
Community Board 2 approved its plan that would create a new Hunters Point sub-district, stretching along Jackson Avenue, Vernon Boulevard and 44th Drive.
The LIC BID currently serves businesses in the Queens Plaza/Court Square region along Jackson Avenue and Queens Plaza.
The concept of creating a BID for Hunters Point has been two years in the works, with a steering committee set up in the second quarter of 2014.
Services that will be provided to the BID sub-district properties will include maintenance/sanitation, marketing/promotion and beautification. These services will be on top of what New York City is required to provide.
Elizabeth Lusskin, the president of the Partnership and BID executive director, said at CB 2’s meeting last night that the BID services would help businesses generate more revenue.
The Hunters Point sub-district would be working with a budget of $350,000. This is a smaller and separate budget from the existing BID zone, which will be $450,000 in the expanded BID’s first year.
Lusskin was subject to several questions about the sub district and how the majority of the board of directors—like with all BIDs—are mandated to be property owners. Questions were raised by two Board members who asked whether the commercial tenants would be adequately represented.
There will be commercial tenants on the board. However, they will be in the minority along with elected officials and a community board representative.
Lusskin, however, said that many commercial tenants were very eager for the BID to arrive in Hunters Point, hoping that it would help them generate new business.
Furthermore, Lusskin said, when there were two hearings in July 2015 on the proposal—both advertised—there were no objections.
As with all BIDs, each property owner within the Hunters Point sub-district would be required to pay an assessment. Most landlords pass this fee onto their tenants.
The Partnership stated that in all, 60 percent of the sub-district’s properties would be charged less than $660 annually.
Queens Borough President Melinda Katz will also weigh in on the plan as part of the process. The City Planning Commission will also render an opinion.
Ultimately, the BID expansion will need to be approved by the City Council.
Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, who represents the area and will therefore be a key voice on the issue, said he is a “big supporter” of the BID expansion.