Today’s news:

Fresh Fulton bid - Land Use Committee backs group

A new business improvement district is moving forward on a central Fort Greene/Clinton Hill thoroughfare.

That after the Community Board 2 Land Use Committee last week unanimously recommended approval of the Central Fulton Street Business Improvement District (CFSBID).

“The Central Fulton Street BID has been in the works for a long time and involved a lot of hard work and energy,” said Dale Charles, manager of Economic Development for the non-profit Pratt Area Community Council (PACC), which has been spearheading the BID formation.

The proposed CFSBID will stretch some 22 blocks along Fulton Street from Rockwell Place to Classon Avenues and include shops around the corner just off Fulton.

A BID is a formalized way for businesses in a commercial area to fund extra services in their community.

The way a BID works is every business and property owner in a determined area is assessed and each contributes a certain amount of money per year.

The money goes to the city, which holds it, and then reallocates it to the BID.

The BID, which is made up of the merchants and property owners, decides how to spend the money and create its own priorities.

Establishing a BID also opens the area up to possible capital improvement funding on the city’s part.

Charles said a steering Committee of more than 25 members comprised of property and business owners, area residents, community based organizations, and local public officials was formed over two years ago to organize the BID.

According to a PACC fact sheet, 93 percent of the property owners in the proposed BID support its creation.

Many of the property owners have a “pass-through” in their lease for these assessments, allowing the merchant to pay for the BID.

Non-profit property owners are not subject to these assessments and residential property owners pay only $1 a year for the BID.

The median annual BID assessment is $1,017.59 or $85 per month.

The estimated annual budget for the BID will be $300,000.

Of this money, $35,000 will go towards additional security, $95,000 will go towards sanitation and graffiti removal, $40,000 will go towards promotion and marketing, $25,000 will go for holiday lighting, $15,000 will go towards new initiatives, $50,000 will go for a BID manager and $11,000 will cover administrative costs.

One of the reasons listed on the fact sheet for forming the BID was to capitalize on the economic benefits of recent and future developments in bordering neighborhoods, such as MetroTech in Downtown Brooklyn.

The BID, in part, also abuts the BAM cultural district, which is under the auspices of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership (DBP).

“We are incredibly enthusiastic that PACC has worked successfully with local merchants and property owners to create a BID along Fulton Street and we look forward to working with PAAC and the stakeholders in the years to come,” said DBP President Joe Chan.

The CFSBID now moves before the full CB2 before going before the borough president’s office, the planning commission and the city council for final approvals.

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