The Pelham Bay Merchants Association has started a membership outreach to hundreds of small and medium size businesses. The recently installed slate of officers plan to instill into the residents that the fate of the business strip has a direct bearing on the future of the neighborhood.
A new officers were sworn in at Lucca Restaurant at 3019 Westchester Avenue on Thursday, July 23. Merchant’s association president Sherry Scanlon said the group will send block captains out to enlist more participation.
“We cannot be an organization of just 20 stores,” Scanlon said. “We need to have the support of the entire business community.”
Scanlon said that the organization also needs the support of the community. She said that when residents support local business, the property value of homes in the surrounding area increase and the community thrives.
“We want to clean up the neighborhood and make shopping in Pelham Bay a more pleasant experience by eliminating graffiti, making sure the streets and sidewalks are clean, and doing all we can to be make our business inviting,” Scanlon said. “If business in the neighborhood dies, the neighborhood dies. It happened in the south Bronx and it could happen here.”
Councilman Jimmy Vacca officiated the ceremony, which swore in the following individyals: Sherry Scanlon of Pelham Bay Home Center, president; Jordan Treibert of Azby Brokerage, vice-president; Erin Medina of Citibank, vice-president; Tashel Scanlon of Pelham Bay Home Center, secretary; and Lucia Mariani of Lucca Restaurant, treasurer.
Vacca said that he is planning on making sure that quality-of-life crimes like drinking and vagrancy in Keane Square do not hamper the shopping district’s growth.
“I am committed to cleaning up this place, so people can shop in a pleasant environment,” Vacca said.
Vacca said that police are making arrests, noting five arrests for various quality-of-life crimes at the Buhre Avenue train station and on Crosby Avenue the week prior to the swearing in.
He also said he was moving on obtaining angled parking on part of Buhre Avenue. His office is in a dialog with the Department of Transportation on this matter.
“We have submitted a plan to DOT that would increase parking spaces through angled parking, though this process is not going to be easy,” Vacca said.
The merchants blasted the over-aggressive ticketing by traffic agents in the neighborhood has got to be checked.
“The main thing that businesspeople want are traffic agents to stop writing excessive tickets,” Treibert said. “We are looking into bringing in more holiday lighting and keeping crime down to a minimum.”