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Business Improvement District executive director discusses vision for Melrose shopping hub

Brady new director of HUB/Third Avenue BID

Michael Brady of the HUB/Third Avenue BID gestures towards Roberto Clemente Plaza as he describes a complete renovation now underway.
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A new executive director of the HUB / Third Avenue Business Improvement District was recently named.

Michael Brady recently took the helm of the business organization at a time of transition: an exciting period with several substantial new nearby residential and community developments in the works.

There’s a confluence of development activities within the BID boundaries and just to the south that are spurring a lot of excitement, he said.

“It is just a really exciting time for the south Bronx and the level of development that is happening is unlike anything else in New York City,” said Brady, adding projections show there will be an additional 8,000,000 square feet of new development added in a ten-block radius of the BID.

These new projects include residential, commercial and programmatic space, he said.

One of the largest new developments, which breaks ground shortly, is La Central.

It includes 996 housing units, ground-level retail and community facilities including a YMCA near Westchester and Bergen avenues.

It is just one of many new exciting projects.

This is particularly sensational time, said Brady, because Melrose, which includes the BID service area, saw up to 50 years of disinvestment in the past.

There was a time when the BID was without a single bank branch, said Brady. Today 200,000 people pass through in a day.

With so much new development and business activity comes investment in public works, he said, explaining that the BID and surrounding community are seeing sewer upgrades and new wifi broadband.

Visibly on the street is Roberto Clemente Plaza that’s currently under construction at Third and Willis avenues.

It will include performance space, a fountain, planters, bus shelters and seating.

Such investments, along with transportation studies and the like, simply were not undertaken for many years, he said.

“We are seeing right now this high level of community investment so we can catch up and remain competitive to our counterpar­ts,” said Brady, adding that this includes the citywide business environment.

With so much new development happening nearby, one of Brady’s goals is to expand the boundaries of the BID to include much more of the Melrose community.

He said the BID would present a plan to the NYC City Council as part of a two-year strategy to expand its boundaries: going south to East 146th Street and north to near the 42nd Precinct around East 158th Street, as well as to Lincoln Medical Center and Brook Avenue.

“As a result of the expansion we will be the largest BID in the Bronx,” he said.

Brady, who started the job in December, most immediately succeeded Steven Fish as director, who in turn took the helm after the departure in 2015 of Vincent Valentino, the BID’s executive director for two decades.

“BIDs have evolving needs, and Vinny being a former NYPD detective really helped the BID grapple with public safety issues,” said Brady.

Mario De Giorgio of Youngland and past HUB / Third Avenue BID board of directors chairman, stated he was very pleased to have Brady “on board” when he was appointed.

Reach Reporter Patrick Rocchio at (718) 260–4597. E-mail him at procchio@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @patrickfrocchio.

Posted 12:00 am, March 13, 2017
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