Column: Castle Hill is getting a business improvement district

CMFariìas
Councilmember Amanda Farías announces the creation of the Castle Hill Business Improvement District.
Contributed photo

Within my first five months in office, we made history for the Castle Hill community. After five years of organizing with former representatives, business owners and community leaders, I was able to create the Castle Hill Business Improvement District (BID). 

With help from NYC Small Business Services and Mayor Eric Adams, this May it has been signed into law, making it the 10th BID in The Bronx! A Business improvement district is a huge win for the community of Council District 18 and our borough. BIDs are made up of property owners and commercial tenants who work together to promote business development and improve the area’s sanitation and walkability. BIDs allow for hyper-local investments in communities that would both benefit from and want increased sanitation services, foot traffic and revenue in their local small businesses. This is a moment for recovery and economic development in our commercial corridor. Not only will we see investments made to encourage patrons, but we will also begin to see our vacant storefronts change for the better. 

The Castle Hill community has been historically disenfranchised and it is past time we invest in long-term plans for the neighborhood. This BID will no doubt create more opportunities in the surrounding neighborhoods of Clason Point, Soundview and Parkchester, which share borders and neighbors. 

The Castle Hill BID will serve the businesses along Castle Hill and Westchester avenues, it encompasses 97 properties and will be managed by a BID District Management Association and appointed executive director, all soon to come. To view areas of the BID, click here.

We owe this creation to a lot of people, but most importantly to the amazing advocates at the Westchester Square BID and the Castle Hill BID Steering Committee who worked together to mobilize their neighbors in order to bolster our local economies and ensure that our neighborhoods continue to thrive. As a city and as community members, this is our moment to really lift up our small businesses and encourage local hires for our local economy. We as a city cannot recover without all of our neighborhoods recovering as well. Building up local economies and small businesses keeps money in our own backyards, which improves our community’s economic wellness on both a short- and long-term scale. When we buy from small businesses, we are investing in the Bronx for the Bronx. 

This BID is a fantastic start to the real investments that Castle Hill, and the surrounding communities truly deserve. I look forward to working with the mayor, my colleagues in government and our local leaders and business owners to continue focusing on equitable recovery, supporting small businesses and protecting the hard-working New Yorkers who are more than just essential, but deserving of investment. 

As always, please feel free to reach out to my office at 718-792-1140 or district18@council.nyc.gov. We are taking in person meetings by appointment only at our office located at 778 Castle Hill Ave.

Amanda Farías is the councilmember for the 18th District, representing parts of Castle Hill, Clason Point, Harding Park, Parkchester, Shorehaven and Soundview. To read her previous column, click here

More from Around NYC