Business Improvement District Takes Shape
BY LAUREN PRICE | As a neighborhood rises from the ground up, the Hudson Yards/ Hell’s Kitchen Business Improvement District (HYHK BID), announced in mid-March an interim board of directors — a significant step toward becoming fully operational. The BID, created under legislation signed by former Mayor Michael Bloomberg in December, covers more than 450 businesses between West 30th Street and West 42nd Street, from Ninth Avenue to the east side of 11th Avenue.
The 29-member interim board has elected Kevin P. Singleton, executive vice president of TF Cornerstone, as chair, and Oskar Brecher, executive vice president of development at the Moinian Group, and Andrew Cantor, vice president of development at Related Companies, as vice chairs.
The HYHK BID’s designation came in the wake of more than a year of advocacy from a broad swath of constituencies on the Far West Side. Commercial property owners and tenants, residential owners, neighborhood association leaders, Community Board 4 members and government representatives –– all of whom recognized the area’s emergence as one of the fastest growing and most desirable locations for new development –– came together in a BID planning committee in May 2012. That group worked with the New York City Department of Small Business Services to craft the enabling legislation.
The BID’s immediate priorities include:
• Overseeing development of Hudson Park & Boulevard, a roughly four-acre area of parkland and open space that will run between 10th and 11th Avenues from West 33rd to West 39th Streets. Phase one of the Park & Boulevard, extending from West 33rd to West 36th Streets in the mid-blocks between 10th and 11th Avenues, is nearing completion. The entire project is expected to be complete by 2015.
• Implementing district-wide services and improvements, involving open space and greening, increased pedestrian and traffic safety, sanitation services in targeted areas and access to capital and technical assistance.
• Advocating for Hudson Yards/Hell’s Kitchen area constituents by working with Community Board 4, neighborhood groups, city agencies and government representatives