April 23, 2020 By Christian Murray
The city council passed legislation yesterday that will see the Flushing Business Improvement District get a whole lot bigger.
The Flushing BID, which currently incorporates properties along Main Street from Northern Boulevard to Sanford Avenue, will now include properties along Roosevelt Avenue—from College Point to Union Street.
The BID will bring its supplemental sanitation and marketing services to the expanded district. It will also spend funds on beautifying the additional streets.
The expansion comes at a time when small businesses in downtown Flushing are suffering from the economic fallout of COVID-19. The BID will have a much bigger budget to spend in the greater area. Its annual funding will go from $380,000 to about $1 million.
Council Member Peter Koo, who sponsored the legislation for the BID expansion, said the added services will help businesses get back on their feet after the shutdown is lifted.
“After this crisis is over, we will need to act quickly to revitalize those businesses through marketing and other support services,” he said.
The BID’s budget is primarily generated through fees levied on property owners. Those fees are typically passed onto their tenants and are added to their rent.
Dian Yu, the Flushing BID’s executive director, said earlier this year that about 70 percent of the businesses in the new zone would be paying less than $1,000 in BID fees annually.
The expansion has been years in the making.
Yu said that he had spent five years to gain the support of 51 percent of the property owners on the blocks where the district is being expanded–-as required by the city.
The expansion had the backing of the local community board.
Community Board 7, in an advisory role, supported the BID’s plan in a vote last June.
Yu anticipates the BID expansion to go into effect by July.
Right now, the BID includes Main Street between Northern Boulevard and Sanford Avenue, 40th Road from Main to Prince Street, Roosevelt Avenue from Union Street to College Point Boulevard, Kissena Boulevard from Sanford to 41st Avenue and 39th Avenue from Main to College Point.
Under the expansion, the BID would cover Main from Northern to Franklin Avenue, 37th Avenue from College Point to Union, Union from 37th to Roosevelt, 138th Street from 37th to 39th Avenue, Prince from 30th Avenue to 40th Road, 38th Avenue from Prince to Union, 41st Road from College Point to Main and 41st Avenue from College Point to Main.
The Flushing BID can expand all they want. That doesn’t excuse anyone for giving the stamp of approval for the absolute filthy and unsanitary state that is known as Main Street Flushing. This is clearly an unacceptable problem that has been allowed to persist for decades. Talk about contagions, pathogens and agents of infection. Where local and state elected officials including a range of mayoral agencies (NYC Dept of Health, Dept of Sanitation etc) have been so unwilling to utilize available resources and monies to finally clean up and sanitize the greasy, blackened and grimy sidewalks and streets for fear of offending their Asian constituency. Why is that? The need to entice some Asians to fully abandon their cultural behavior that has created this condition in the first place. So nothing gets done other than being talked about. It is so filthy and with smells so exacerbated with summer high temperatures that many Asians and non-Asians alike choose to no longer even visit there, self included. When will someone ever learn about the long-term benefits of Cleanliness. However that seems very unlikely to ever be found in this busy and grimy corner of Queens County.