The Fordham Road Business Improvement District is expanding, and new options for shopping and recreation are coming to the shopping strip as well.
The legislative process is currently underway to extend the BID boundaries east to Washington Avenue from Third Avenue, with hearings and a subsequent vote at the City Council expected, said executive director Wilma Alonso.
Expansion of BID requires legislative approval from the City, along with additional sign-offs from the state, she said.
The expansion of the boundaries will allow the BID to include new shopping options on the ground floor of the “iconic” building One Fordham Plaza, across the street from the Fordham Metro North Station and Fordham University, she said.
“That was perfect timing because we can provide an additional tool for those businesses which will partner with us for our marketing campaigns,” said Alonso, adding that One Fordham Plaza has seen a lot of new retail businesses set up shop there in the past year on the ground level.
Among these new businesses are Starbucks, Pizza Studio, TJ Maxx and Famous Footwear, stated BID deputy director Daniel Bernstein in an e-mail.
The expanded boundaries would also include what had been the former Fordham Plaza outdoor market space between Webster and Third avenues, he also stated.
That outdoor shopping space is located on a “bridge-structure” over Metro North’s train station, and which will also be seeing a major overhaul, said Alonso.
She explained that plans are in the works for a complete renovation of what had been an interchange for city buses directly across from both an entrance and exit to Metro North station and One Fordham Plaza.
After a completed renovation, beginning in September and lasting roughly 18 months, the plaza will be reconfigured with new concessions that are going to be leased by the BID, she said.
Those new options should complement all the BID has to offer, Alonso added. She cited Union Square in Manhattan as an example of what this outdoor space could be like, with lots of planned programming. She envisions a farmers market, outdoor movies, and fashion shows.
She explained that the new space is especially important because there is little public space within Fordham Road BID’s current boundaries.
Bernstein also wants to draw attention to existing programming, he stated in an e-mail, and promoted movie night on Friday, September 12 at Muller Park and Plaza located at Creston Avenue and Fordham Road.
The BID will be showing the “Lego” movie at 7:30 p.m. as a sign of appreciation to its shoppers and the community, said Alonso.