It’s finally coming. The long awaited business improvement district for Throggs Neck was approved by the city’s Committee on Finance on Wednesday November 28; representing the penultimate step in s long and arduous process, that will conclude when the mayor signs it into law.
For Throggs Neck, the corridor of East Tremont Avenue from Bruckner Boulevard to Miles Avenue will become the 76th BID in New York City as of the new year and the 11th in the borough, and Throggs Neck Merchants Association president Bob Jaen couldn’t be more elated.
“Now we want to see the big footprint stores come in,” Jaen said, noting the community’s eagerness to support local retail, especially as far as food service goes.
“That’s what people know the area for, people know your name and remember your face, we would like to see more of that and continue to bring in powerful retailers,” the president added.
Jaen, who has been instrumental in the BID’s approval process, said that ideally he would want to attract a Panera Bread or a Modell’s Sporting Goods to the Throggs Neck BID to realize his vision of strenghtening the area’s retail offerings.
Since 2014 when the project began moving forward, BID advocates cited the Mall at Bay Plaza and other nearby malls for divertinging retail customers away from the Throggs Neck retail corridor.
Bringing new, popular retailers onto East Tremont Avenue would help offset the ramifications that the malls and super shopping centers have done to the local commercial base.
However, the effort to restore the commercial viability to the BID area is a marathon rather than a sprint, it will take time.
The BID’s inaugural year will be mostly spent in hiring an executive director along with other committee personnel. Then it will get down to business, literally.
For Jaen and the rest of the BID board, that doesn’t mean the first year is not going to put to good use.
“Even thought the first year will probably start slow, we’re working on a beautification campaign in Throggs Neck to get the area up to speed with the BID,” Jaen said.
He along with Community Board 10 district manager Matt Cruz has embarked on a campaign with the NYC Department of Transportation to install improved street lighting throughout Throggs Neck, from East Tremont Avenue and Bruckner Boulevard all the way to Marina del Ray at Schurz Avenue.
DOT agreed to fund and install the lighting, according to Jaen.
The BID’s anticipated $340,000 budget from the get-go will be used to enhance street cleaning and install 360-degree security cameras.
“Before we can even start to bring in businesses, we want the residents to appreciate the area. We’re ready to start the ball rolling,” Jaen said.
In the meantime, the BID plans to focus some of its efforts on celebrating and promoting the rich history of Fort Schuyler and the surrounding waterfront area.
Similar to Sag Harbor on Long Island, Jaen envisions the BID supporting an emerging historic district based in and around the Throggs Neck shoreline.