125th Street BID Program Timeline

125th Street BID Program Timeline


  • Inception of the 125th Street BID & Board of Directors



  • Second annual holiday lighting program (Opening ceremony held at Mart 125 with guest performer George Faison)


  • Promotion program launched: BID welcoming flags and banners are displayed along 125th Street along with distribution of print materials displaying the BID logo.
  • BID creates and implements Harlem Summer Concert Series


  • Security lighting program launched
  • Sanitation program is implemented to maintain the appearance of 125th Street
  • Problem of vendor overflow is solved by the relocation of all vendors to nearby a lot created specifically for vending.
  • Plans begin for 125th Street River to River study.
  • BID hosts first ever Ringling brothers Bamum & Bailey "The Greatest Show on Earth Salute to Harlem"
  • BID receives 200 responses from consumer survey
  • Collaborative efforts with the West Harlem Environment Action, Inc. organization to create the 125th Street OASIS – an outdoor park located at the front of the Adam Clayton Powell Jr. State office Building


  • BID develops plans to create promotional map in collaboration with American Express to display all stores in which the card is accepted.
  • First black tie event, Sport and fashion gala is held including fashion show, billiard tournament, jazz, dancing and business networking.
  • In participation with the International Downtown Association, 125th Street BID increases Harlem awareness and tourism by providing walking tours through which include a performance at the world's famous Apollo Theatre.
  • "Getting Down to Business Conference" is held, informing the general public of local, available space as well as stores already in the area
  • BID begins publishing “BID Update” information column in the Harlem Community News magazine highlighting activities on 125th Street


  • Sanitation & Maintenance program receives its highest ratings for sidewalk cleanliness since previous years
  • Plaza 9 project is placed into action. 2 of the 9 requested store fronts (Papaya King and Golden Krust) sign leases for space rental and room is made for the construction of the three-level 350 car capacity parking garage: a large feature of the project
  • Production is completed for the American Express brochures which uses the Apollo Theatre and the studio Museum as dstination points.
  • Working in Conjunction with the Christmas Tree of Harlem, the Adam Clayton Powell Health & Safety Committee, and West Harlem Environmental Action Inc, the BID helped to install and decorate a Christmas tree on the plaza of the State Building.
  • BID promotes and produces the summer jazz series held outside of the Adam Clayton Powell Jr. State Office, including two other days preserved for business networking events and non-profit activities for local shoppers and residents.
  • The Security lighting programs, sponsored by the 125th Street BID, UMEZ, Con Edison and various property owners is implemented along the shopping strip. 87 photo-cell light fixtures and installed to make the Street brighter and safer.


  • The Multi-Agency Response to Community Hot Spot (MARCH) Program is implemented in response to complaints between neighboring businesses within the district. Various city enforcement agencies issue summonses and warnings to return the friendly business atmosphere
  • BID helps to improve the conditions of local trash receptacles as many store owners complain of their poor quality and condition.
  • Master Plan Committee is created to plan the redevelopment of properties and the growth of business within the BID boundaries.
  • The next American Express Holiday Stroll Program is advertised in the local Amsterdam Newspaper. Shoppers are encouraged shop in the district using their American Express cards in exchange for a gift and/or a contribution to the save the Children Foundation.
  • 2nd Annual Sports and Fashion Gala black tie event
  •  From June to September the BID in conjunction with the Adam Clayton Powell Jr. State Office Building Health and Safety Committee, produced and promoted a Wednesday Summertime Jazz/Lunch program and a series of "Thursday is Business Day" actives, sponsored by Chase, Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone (UMEZ) and Citibank. Activities included entertainment, distribution of literature, promotion of local banking services and special discounts for local shopping.
  • A 7- minute video featuring local businesses is produced to enhance fund raising efforts.
  • Along with the Metropolitan Life Company the organization develops a 125th Street Business Improvement Series including topics on health insurance, store front security and technology
  • Security survey to business and property owners in the district revealed a security committee is formed in response to the survey results to develop a comprehensive security program perpetuating the security lighting program and implementing a visible foot patrol


  • The BID, through a contract with NYC EDC brought tenants to the Plaza 9 stores that had been vacant for many years and had become an eyesore to the community.
  • BID successfully leveraged funds from the state, city, and private sources and obtained two (2) grants from the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone.
  • BID held 2 successful fundraisers, one honoring Barbara Wolff- the mother of BID’s
  • BID worked with New York City Police Dept, the Department of Business Services and community boards, to implement a second security lighting program to improve the overall safety of the corridor. Commercial robbery for yr. 2000 averaged .09%
  • BID launched outdoor summer concert series and provides a space for people to relax and have their lunch in 125th Street while promoting local talent.


  • Phase 1 of the EDA planning grant began in October 2001. In Phase 1 125th Street BID is working on six areas that could improve the marketing of the existing business district
  • BID conducted West Side BID Expansion and East Side BID Expansion Study. Preliminary work has begun for expanding the BID boundaries. The target area will be 124th to 126th Streets. The Westside expansion area presents a unique opportunity to develop more community and family oriented programming designed to embrace the residents of Grant Houses. The East expansion represents a means of attracting increased consumerism originating from Queens, the Bronx and the entire east side of Manhattan.


  • BID went through first audit by the New York City Comptroller’s Office. BID was pleased with the findings and have instituted policies to increase efficiency.
  • BID’s request for an increase in the BID assessment charge - first since the inception of the BID in 1993, to change the our budget from 275,000 to 525,000 was approved.
  • BID re-evaluates programs in order to address the new needs that are occurring as a result of the welcomed growth in our area.
  • BID hires a marketing consultant to develop a comprehensive strategy for marketing the district.


  • BID formed partnership with Verizon to encourage economic growth through technology and increase awareness of options
  • To enhance the urban design and economic viability of the district, the BID started planning and sought funding to implement a public space improvement program that would bring additional lighting to the district and create a unified appearance.


  • BID received an increase in budget from $525,00 to $603,000 in assessment dollars.
  • Moving into 2006 the areas of focus include BID Expansion, Street and Pedestrian Lighting, Public Space, Retail Recruitment and Retention, Partnership Trash Receptacles and Strategies Planning. An annual report that described these items was presented.
  • The BID formed a focus group of owners in the district. A property owners retreat was held. Recommendations were presented to NYC Department of City Planning.
  • The New York City Department of Transportation and the 125th Street Business (BID) began planning replacement of the street lighting on 125th Street within the limits of the BID, from 5th Avenue to Morningside Avenue. This project will be paid for with Multi-Modal funding provided by Assembly Member Keith Wright.


  • BID selected the grand Central partnership type street light replacement of the existing Metropolitan type light. This pole will provide an additional 250 watt above the standard. The light fixtures will hang parallel with the sidewalk creating a brighter sidewalk for pedestrians.
  • The Arts Commission voted 5 to 1 in favor of the BID continuing to pursue the project on April 19, 2006


  • June 29, at the BID’s Fourteenth Annual Meeting 2007, the BID presented a report for the creation of a cultural destination from river-to-river on 125th Street. This study included recommendations to the city of New York for the re-zoning of 125th Street.
  • BID works to build a consensus on future development and incorporate the BID’s goals into a community-based vision for 125th Street and the surrounding community.
  • The BID expanded its revenue-generating Partnership Bin Trash Receptacle program.
  • Working more closely with the New York City Police Department, The BID has launched the Ambassador Police Safety Program which is a first of its kind for the Harlem Community. This enhances our overall public safety efforts and complements our proposed Distinctive Lighting Program along the corridor. Our Newsletters, maps, guidebooks, and street banners continue to promote the district to a wide audience of visitors, business and supporters of 125th Street.


  • The BID entered into a contract with Urban Marketing Collaborative to conduct a Retail Market Study on 125th Street from river to river. The 2 year study produced a market background analysis and an action plan for BID operations. The 125th Street Business Improvement District (BID) Retail Market Action Plan represents the first comprehensive review of the existing inventory of properties along 125th Street and the traffic patterns of visitors to the corridor.
  • The 125th Street BID initiated a cultural sustainability study and the subsequent set of proposals in response to the New York City Department of City Planning’s (DCP) 125th Street River to River Study Scoping document. The document recommends revisions to NYC Zoning Law that would allow 125th Street to become a cultural destination from First Avenue to Twelfth Avenue. The research was conducted through a partnership with the Urban Design Lab of the Earth Institute of Columbia University in New York City.
  • BID launched BID on Culture. BID on culture is a project that involves a collaboration between Harlem Arts Alliance and the 125th Street BID to promote 125th Street as a cultural destination. BID on Culture involves a banner design competition to showcase images that capture the arts and historical richness of Harlem. Banners are displayed on pole banners in BID District.


  • The top five goals for July 2008 through June 2009 were Hiring a Marketing/Development Specialist; Increasing the activities of the Real Estate Development Committee; Developing a Streetscape Master Plan; Ensuring that public safety and sanitation remain top priorities to address perceived and real, clean and safe issues; and Expanding the 125th Street BID’s boundaries.
  • BID relocated its offices to 360 West 125th Street, Suite 11 after 17 years at it's previous location