The 125th Street Business Improvement District serves one of the most historical and dynamic business corridors in New York City. The recent surge of commercial revitalization has positioned the district for significant development. Growth has included the addition of several high profile tenants as well as the expansion of existing business. The BID is actively engaged in effectively bringing together residents, consumer, property owners, commercial, tenants and government entities to develop a common vision for community development.
The BID is looking to expand its community outreach and services by working with local groups, attending conferences, providing seminars as well as speaking engagements at community events. The BID actively seeks to form partnerships with agencies and corporate entities to bolster our scope of work and resources.
The BID’s current draft strategic plan involves the following areas of focus: Organizational Development, Quality of Life, Streetscape, Zoning, Planning & Development, and Marketing.
Streetscape improvements represent a major concern for both property owners and merchants. The need for streetscape improvements arose from a series of studies conducted by the BID and a recognition by its Board of Directors that the streetscape of 125th Street has fallen into disrepair, and that the street lacked some of the critical aesthetic elements and amenities consistent with the BID's goal of providing a safe, walk able environment for residents and visitors alike.
As 125th Street, the “Heart of Harlem” continues to grow and change, ensuring it does so in a pedestrian-oriented and vibrant way while maintaining its unique character and charm is a high priority for the 125th Street Business Improvement District. The BID needs to highlight the elements essential in creating a pedestrian friendly environment where people can live, work, do business, and continue the co-creation through its cultural assets. A culturally collaborative streetscape plan should create a pedestrian friendly environment with the design of amenities such as wayfinding, enhanced paving, parking, sidewalks, street furniture, lighting improvements, street trees, and other green spaces; consider physical, economic and cultural conditions of Harlem; develop goals and objectives; identify opportunities for protection, and enhancement and further development of 125th Street’s streetscape project impact on the targeted area
There are many positive reasons for implementing a 125th Street Improvement Plan.
Streetscape improvements bring a number of benefits to the local residents.
- Strengthen neighborhood identity by preserving Harlem's history and culture. Streetscape elements can be used to capture these unique characteristics if the preparation of the conceptual level is not limited to sidewalks, curbing, trees, landscaping, etc. A streetscape improvement plan can identify other opportunities beyond signs, banners and lighting.
- An opportunity to examine and preserve natural and open space on 125th Street.
- Strategizing ongoing opportunities for both public and private to realize the vision with the Values of the Harlem signature.
- Better define the cultural destination that the BID has fought for over the past 5 years which will defined and market 125th Street as the cultural destination for New York City, This will help to meet some of the needs of local residents by opening up doors in areas of entrepreneurship that has been fragmented or underdeveloped - such as an organized pedestrian traffic to support small businesses.
- Improve safety and accessibility, and create a vibrant public space.
- Instill civic pride with a street for all to enjoy
- Increase sales of existing businesses, helping to attract new investment to the improved area.
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