The annual board elections was a display of overwhelming support as each of last year’s members once again secured their seat, with a few additional members joining the team.
Additionally exciting, BID executive director Wilma Alonso said, was an announcement of the nearly completed Fordham Road lighting project.
“We were really involved with the street lighting so we’re really happy to see the project finishing up,” Alonso explained, referencing the more than 150 new old-fashioned style streetlights that now line Fordham Road, from Southern Boulevard to University Avenue.
Alonso said the board decided to extend the $1.3 million project beyond the boundaries of the BID, which extend from Third Avenue to Jerome Avenue, in order to further enhance the community’s overall appearance.
“We wanted to enhance Fordham Road as a whole,” Alonso said.
Gearing to move forward with the Fordham Road Streetscape Enhancement Master Plan, she added the board is revved up for their next project, the revitalization of Bryan Park.
Recognized as the triangular green space between Fordham Road and E. Kingsbridge Road, next summer’s $2.5 million of construction will begin to transform the space into an urban oasis.
“We think that’s a very important location in the district,” Alonso explained about its centralized spot in the center of the busy shopping area. “It will be more like a public plaza.”
Working in conjunction with the Department of Transportation and the Parks Department, Alonso said they’re currently in the process of securing the project’s contracts.
In the meantime, she said the board is busy planning the details of the $6 to $10 million-streetscape initiative, which will be incorporated into the neighborhood over the next few years.
“Beside just enhancing the businesses, we really want to dress up Fordham Road,” Alonso explained.
In addition to adding a number of new recycling receptacles to help curb excessive littering, she added, “We were also very happy to hear our members wanted to see greenery on Fordham Road.”
New street directories and bus shelters are just a couple of the trimmings that will continue to improve Fordham Road.
Alonso said, “I’m so excited to see so many things happening on the infrastructural level.”