With the New Year underway, Throggs Neck now has its first ever business improvement district.
The Throggs Neck Business Improvement District was approved in the summer and incorporated in October. Now in 2020, it is ready to get the ball rolling.
The lawyer for the TNBID, Stephen Kaufman, explained the BID did not happen overnight and its creation was the culmination of countless hours of pounding the pavement by a few dedicated individuals to drum up support.
Kaufman, along with the BID’s chairman, Anthony Basso, who owns Big Three Wine and Liquor, 3824 E. Tremont Avenue, believe the BID will help the community.
Kaufman served as president of the Throggs Neck Merchant Association from 2013 to 2016 during the initial efforts to form a BID.
“Where there’s a BID, property values have gone up,” Kaufman told the Bronx Times. “We want to spruce up the business strip so it can competitively compete.”
The TNBID’s annual budget will be somewhere between $320,000 to $330,000 and in total, 175 merchants are located within the BID area, which spans along East Tremont Avenue as well as several side streets from Bruckner Boulevard to Marina del Rey.
Interviews have been going on for about a month to select a BID director. An announcement on the hiring is expected very soon.
According to Kaufman, the BID’s goal is to beautify the community, install new signage and entice new restaurants and tenants to the strip.
More importantly, the BID will provide business owners a place where they can directly deal with their problems.
Kaufman explained the process to form the BID began a few years ago. During a survey in 2015 business owners indicated they were interested in better marketing and more retail diversity.
Basso told the Bronx Times he has seen many merchants come and go, but feels the BID will entice new ones and strenghten those already here.
“Throggs Neck needs it,” he stressed. “I’m here 40 plus years and I’ve seen the changes. We have to make shopping for the public better.”
The hope is to keep local shoppers from going to malls and encourage them to stay local, he stressed.
Basso said the BID has already implemented a sanitation program that will keep the strip’s curbs and sidewalks clear of trash.
The installation of new street lighting is also on the agenda he said.
“The goal is to improve the commercial corridor,” he stressed.
With the ever increasing rent and property taxes and competition from Amazon, maintaining a successful business is definitely a challenge, he said. Hopefully, this will reduce the vacancies throughout the BID area as well.
“Brick and mortar stores are feeling the pinch,” he said.
Basso explained that every property owner that is part of the BID pays an additional tax, which is collected by the city and then turned over to the BID.
“We welcome anybody that wants to come into the community and see it grow,” he said.
The BID is working on establishing a shuttle bus that would operate between the soon-to-be-realized Ferry Point ferry service, East Tremont Avenue and Waters Place.
Basso also pointed to Montefiore’s renovation of the former Mandees building at 3860 E. Tremont Avenue, which will add a boost to Throggs Neck’s medical services.
“I think everybody is ready for some change,” he said.