Rob Walsh, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS), Council Member Julissa Ferreras, and Seth Taylor, the new executive director of the 82nd Street Partnership announced significant improvements in the Jackson Heights and Elmhurst neighborhood in the past 100 days. The announcement took place as part of a walking tour of the commercial corridor with Council Member Daniel Dromm, and Board Chair, John Rapp.
"It is incredible to see the outstanding work Seth Taylor has done in the past 100 days to begin transforming the streets of the 82nd Street BID, as well as the organization," said Rob Walsh, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services. "The neighborhood is getting its shine back through graffiti removal, new sanitation services, and marketing plans. I look forward to Seth’s continued success serving local property owners and merchants, and revitalizing this vibrant NYC commercial corridor."
"Delivered as promised. I demanded to see change in 100 days and SBS has delivered. In 100 days Seth Taylor has done an amazing job on the transformation of the 82nd Street BID. Together with the NYC Dept. of Small Business Services and the 82nd Street Partnership there have already been noticeable changes, not only to the businesses, but the community as a whole. As we move towards local economic growth, healthier communities, and cleaner streets, I am happy to work with such strong and efficient leaders as Seth Taylor and Commissioner Walsh. Today I can say what I could not have said 101 days ago: that I am proud of where we are and that we have a strong plan for the future of our community," said Council Member Julissa Ferreras.
"Community residents are stopping me in the street to say they have noticed significant improvements on 82nd Street," said Council Member Daniel Dromm (D-Queens). "Everyone is pleased that 82nd Street is beginning to live up to its potential as a fine shopping destination for people from all around the city. The planting of new trees, the removal of graffiti and the addition of a new street cleaning crew among other changes, have all contributed to a renewed attitude of optimism in Jackson Heights."
"100 days ago we made a commitment to turn around the 82nd Street BID, and today I'm pleased to report that we are making progress on all fronts--the sidewalks are cleaner, graffiti is gone, and businesses are thriving," said John Rapp, President of 82nd Street Partnership. "On behalf of all the members of the Partnership, we thank the Department of Small Business Services, Borough President Helen Marshall, and Council Members Julissa Ferreras and Daniel Dromm for their continued support."
In January 2012, the 82nd Street Business Improvement District (BID), under the direction of Commissioner Walsh and Council Member Julissa Ferreras, implemented a 100 Day Plan to rebuild the organization and neighborhood. With excessive graffiti, overflowing litter receptacles, and an outdated website and business directory, the 82nd Street BID was not delivering its most basic services.
The 100 Day Plan called for new staff leadership; expanded sanitation and maintenance services; a graffiti removal program; a strategic district marketing plan, including new website and an annual event; improved stakeholder communications; board of director development; outreach to city agencies and the community boards; and fundraising.
Under the leadership of new executive director, Seth Taylor, the BID has delivered on its promises. It has hired a new sanitation contractor to keep the streets litter free. The neighborhood has a fresh look with newly painted bollards, fire hydrants, lampposts, mailboxes, traffic boxes, and more. Broken and empty planters have been removed from the streetscape, along with damaged solar trash compactors, and dead trees, tree grates have been cleaned, sidewalk corners have been pressure washed, and graffiti has been removed from roll gates, street furniture, doors, and storefronts. In addition, the neighborhood now boasts new light pole banners designed by the Queens Museum of Art.
The 82nd Street BID organization has also been transformed. The BID has changed its name to the 82nd Street Partnership. It has a new logo, and will be unveiling a new Web site in May, 2012. The Partnership is communicating to stakeholders through a monthly e-newsletter, and Twitter updates, and has improved outreach to City agencies for assistance with various projects.
Future plans for the neighborhood include a district wide public art installation, and food and music festival to help build community and attract foot traffic to the neighborhood’s local businesses. Taylor will also continue to walk door-to-door, maintaining relationships with the local merchants and addressing their needs.
"Over the last 100 days the 82nd Street Partnership has been working hard to restore the district's beauty and enhance the shopping environment. Today marks an important milestone in getting both the company and the district back on its feet, but there is of course much more to accomplish as we promote 82nd Street as one of the city's most diverse, authentic, and historic retail corridor's. We look forward to working with our partners in government and business to continue our mission," said Seth Taylor, Executive Director of 82nd Street Partnership.
Seth joined the 82nd Street BID after working most recently as the director of economic development for the Union Square Partnership in Manhattan. He first began working in commercial revitalization and downtown management as a project manager for the 34th Street Partnership/Bryant Park Corporation and later served as business services manager for the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership.
The 82nd Street Business Improvement District was created in 1990, covering 82nd Street from 37th Avenue to Baxter Avenue, including more than 140 retail businesses. The annual budget is approximately $225,000.