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Chinatown BID Supporters Step Up PR Campaign

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The group behind a campaign for a business improvement district in Chinatown is stepping up its pr offensive.  We received a lengthy news release earlier today touting the establishment of a BID as an anecdote to several of the neighborhood’s most vexing problems. It begins:

With the rallying cry, ‘Let Us Help Ourselves!’ community and business leaders in the Chinatown area have launched an effort to form a Business Improvement District (BID) as the most effective way to improve the quality of life for the people who live in, work in and visit the area.

The release goes on to say that business owners have now completed detailed surveys in support of the proposed BID:

Ninety-seven percent of community property owners who voted declared their support for a BID.  Another 600 business owners and residents wrote letters of support.  Long-time groups in our community such as the Chinese Chamber of Commerce, American Legion and Canal Street Jewelry Association support the BID.

There are also quite a few details about how the organization would operate. The first-year budget would be $1.3 million, the vast majority of which would be used for sidewalk cleaning and trash removal. Right now, the Chinatown Partnership (using a grant from the Lower Manhattan Development Corp) provides sanitation services. “But that grant expires December 31,” the release notes, “and community leaders are concerned that Chinatown would revert to the filthy conditions which prevailed before the clean-up program.”

Earlier this year, the Chinatown group worked out a compromise with their neighbors in Soho and the Lower East Side on the BID’s boundaries. The service area now under consideration is:  Broome Street on the north, Broadway on the west, Allen and Rutgers streets on the east and White, Worth and Madison streets on the south.

But there’s another conflict looming. Property and business owners opposed to the Chinatown BID have mailed out surveys of their own and they have launched a petition drive. According to organizer Jan Lee, more than 150 businesses have signed their petition, many of them along the critical Mott Street commercial corridor.

We’ve been talking with a number of people for and against the proposed BID. Look for our in-depth report on the subject next week.

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  1. These folks have been doing good stuff in Chinatown for several years. Remember how dirty it was? I think they could do a lot to promote the area and make it more friendly for people to come, shop, and eat there. That will be good for business. Look at what the BID did for the Lower East Side.

  2. There are quite a few major problems that the Chinatown community faces in their struggle for better community living and development. Filthy streets was one of them. After 911 LMDC granted the community money that has allowed the community to see how clean streets has helped in improving the quality of life of local residents and in bringing more shoppers and visitors to its businesses. It will be a major disappointment if Chinatown fails to continue clean streets with the formation of a BID.
    To keep streets cleans BID is now THE ONLY WAY. Without BID, Chinatgown WILL RETURN to its intolerable filthy condition, and both residents and businesses will suffer again.

  3. What will happen to that $1.3million CHINATOWN BID budget with the passing of the labor bill A#11672 which calls for a fair wage for janitors, security workeres, etc who work for private and non-profits who are CONTRACTED by BIDS? This will mean instead of $7-8 per hour, BIDS will have to pay $21.00 or $30.00 per hour (UNION WAGES) to empty the trash and sweep our streets!!!! So the projected amount of work will be cut by 2/3 unless the property owners pay even more taxes to increase the BIDS budget by 2/3. Holly cow. Another bureacracy has been created to bleed the taxpayer dry. And, will outsized pensions be next? People wake up and watch your wallets. Say NO to the Chinatown BID.

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