New Atlantic Avenue BID awaits Council approval

Domenic M. Recchia Jr.

Council Member Recchia warned BID about working with the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership. On April 28, 2011, the City Council’s Finance Committee held  a hearing on the Department of Small Business Services’ plan to create the Atlantic Avenue Business Improvement District for more than 400 commercial businesses in Brooklyn’s Cobble Hill and  Boerum Hill neighborhoods. The BID would extend along Atlantic Avenue between Fourth Avenue to the east, the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway to the west, and  would be located south of the MetroTech and Court-Livingston-Schermerhorn BIDs. The BID’s projected first-year budget is $240,000.

At a City Planning Commission hearing on the  plan, a representative of the BID’s steering committee testified that more than 90 percent of property owners supported the proposal. There were no speakers in opposition and the Commission unanimously approved the plan. 8 CityLand 9 (Feb. 15, 2011).

Two speakers opposed the BID at the Finance Committee’s hearing. Nat Hendricks, who lives outside of the proposed district, stated that the lack of transparency in developing the BID was “outrageous,” and that the district plan did not reflect community objections. Ora Coleman, representing Atlantis  Medical Center, noted that commercial property owners on Atlantic  Avenue  recently had  their  property taxes increased and argued that the BID would do work that the City was already obligated to perform.

Chair  Domenic M. Recchia Jr. pointed out that there were “serious problems” regarding the MetroTech and Court-Livingston-Schermerhorn BIDs,  which are both managed by the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership. Recchia stated that the Council would not approve the proposal if any Atlantic Avenue BID funds were given to the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership. He noted that the BID’s budget should be for the betterment of Atlantic  Avenue  and not to buy services from that organization. Paul Nelson, an assistant commissioner at DSBS, explained that the Atlantic Avenue BID had no plans to engage with the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership and would hire an independent executive director to manage the BID.

The   hearing  triggered a 30- day period for property owners to file objections to  the  BID with the City Clerk. The Atlantic Avenue BID would be the City’s 65th if approved by the Council and the mayor.

Council: Atlantic Avenue BID (April 28, 2011).

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