Friday, September 13, 2013
Corona merchants wary of BID
From the Daily News:
An ambitious proposal to create one of the city’s largest business improvement districts in mostly immigrant Jackson Heights and Corona would hasten gentrification and spoil the area’s Mom and Pop character, business owners charge.
The 82nd St. Partnership currently encompasses eight blocks and 125 businesses — but the proposed Jackson Heights Corona BID would cover Roosevelt Ave. from 82nd St. to 114th St. and include roughly 1,000 businesses, said Partrship executive director Seth Taylor.
That potential expansion has some immigrant merchants concerned they will be priced out of the neighborhood and the area will lose its trademark character.
“They are going to standardize Roosevelt Ave.,” crowed Freddy Castiblanco, owner of Terraza 7, a bar and jazz club. “They want to clean Roosevelt Ave. of that diversity.”
Castiblanco and other local Hispanic entrepreneurs formed the Roosevelt Avenue Community Alliance to block the BID plan.
The group rallied Sunday against the sweeping overhaul — which would require each shop owner to pay a fee for sanitation, security and other services once provided exclusively by the city with regular tax money.
The BID expansion is a component of Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras’ “New Deal” for Roosevelt Ave., which focused on cleaning up the corridor, which cuts through several Queens neighborhoods. Ferreras cites safety issues, poor lighting and cleanliness as the top complaints among residents.
“The current problems on Roosevelt Ave. hurt everyone,” Ferreras said in a statement. “This is why I believe a business improvement district is a solution to this problem.”
So the short answer is yes, they want to gentrify Corona.