The formation of the Westchester Square Business Improvement District got another shot in the arm when two Community Board 11 committees voiced their support of the proposal.
The BID’s steering committee gave a presentation before a joint session of CB 11’s Land Use and Morris Park/Van Nest committees on Tuesday, April 5.
The board members present gave unanimous approval mainly on the strength of the argument that a strong Westchester Square would be good for the entire surrounding area, said CB 11 district manager Jeremy Warneke.
“A lot of our board members have lived here for a long time and used to shop in the Square before Woolworth’s closed down, so they have an interest in it,” Warneke said. “What affects them down there, affects us, even though only two buildings in the proposed BID will be in Community Board 11.”
The buildings in the proposed BID located in CB 11 are 2543 and 2547 E. Tremont Avenue, Warneke stated.
“What is good for Westchester Square is ultimately going to be good for the Morris Park community, which was how they looked at it,” said Joe Regina, program manager for the Westchester Square Merchants Association. “We feel that instead of blight spreading from here, all of the positive aspects brought by the BID will radiate out to the surrounding communities and be an asset.”
The BID could mean extra sanitation services for Westchester Square, someone looking after the streets, and possibly even getting new storefronts, said CB 11 member Eugene Tutora, who voted in favor of the BID in committee.
“I believe it is a good deal for the Square,” Tutora said. “When I was working in Manhattan a few years ago I saw how the streets got cleaned near Washington Place and Fourth Street after a BID was put in place.”
The BID is being pushed forward by a consortium of property owners, business leaders, and elected officials, but needs to win approval by the City Planning Commission and the City Council and be singed into law.
The matter will now come before the full board for a vote at CB 11’s general meeting on Thursday, April 28 at Lubin Hall at 1200 Van Nest Avenue at 7 p.m.
CB 10 will vote on the BID plans at its next general meeting at Villa Barone Restaurant at 3289 Westchester Avenue at Thursday, April 14 at 8 p.m.