A little over 35 years ago, a group of committed citizens joined forces to improve the area known as North Flatbush Avenue. This group was comprised of merchants, property owners and residents such as Fran Trowbridge, Regina Cahill, Sophie Edeler, Joe King (Century 21 Real Estate) Bill Shapiro (Triangle Sports) and the Pintchik family (Pintchik Hardware)
These committed citizens, along with the assistance of elected officials, city agencies and the Brooklyn Union Gas “Cinderella Project” brought renewal to Flatbush Avenue beginning with the Triangle Parks Commission, the North Flatbush Avenue Betterment Committee that ultimately gave rise to the North Flatbush Avenue Business Improvement District, also known as the “BID”.
Most of this core group is still involved in what may seem to be along struggle to keep Flatbush Avenue a vibrant commercial district. Over the years, the members of the Board of Directors have struggled to create a cohesive identity for the BID that would be responsive to the changing demographic, without losing long time businesses and to create an atmosphere that is rich with “Brooklyn” spirit.
The BID has prided itself on understanding our limitations, our budget is small, and most of the properties and businesses are owned by a sole proprietor. Where else does one have to contend with thousands of vehicles daily, two bus routes, six sets of subway tracks below and a borough that sees Flatbush Avenue more as a conduit than as a destination.
Well, that is all about to change! Over the past year, we have been planning a new streetscape for Flatbush Avenue with a focus like that of 1974 when the Triangle Parks were created. In July 2008, neighborhood citizens participated in our Community Forum hosted by the NYC Project for Public Spaces and Councilwoman Letitia James and the North Flatbush Avenue BID. What is Flatbush Avenue? What would you like to see? The NYC Department of Small Business Services (NYC SBS) awarded the the BID a grant which has allowed us to create a conceptual streetscape design that addresses concerns expressed at the forum. More seating, more trees, potted plants, a respite. These plans were revealed to the public and the press at our 2009 Annual Meeting with “W” Architure and Landscaping LLC. and elected officials. We were able to entice and cajole our fine city to fund the Flatbush Avenue of the future. Today, we have close to $3million in capital funding to complete our project. It has a been a long haul, but we are near the final stages of our plannning. We expect to start construction on our project in the spring of 2014.
In addition to the capital projects, the BID has continued to support the members through the liaison work with city agencies, sanitation services, promotional activities, holiday decorations, advertising opportunities, community events, and as in the past, ensuring that someone watches out for you. In April of 2009, the BID was successful in getting approval to change our tax status to a 501(c) 3 non profit corporation which will allow us to seek funding from additional sources thus providing a wider range of services.
We encourage neighbors to LIKE our Facebook page and FOLLOW us on Twitter. We post regularly and provide photos of our activities. This is a great way to find out what is happening in the area, including construction updates, traffic updates and Breaking News. We also encourage you to sign up for our Monthly electronic newsletter. Just send us your email address and you are automatically signed up, or you can go to our website and complete the form.
The North Flatbush Avenue BID is a member of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce and the Park Slope Civic Council.
At the helm, is President Regina Cahill, one of the founders of the Triangle Parks Commission in 1986. Regina has lived on Flatbush Avenue since 1972. along with her husband and 2 children.
Sharon Davidson, Executive Director is in charge of running the day to day business of the North Flatbush Avenue BID. Before being elected to the executive director position, Sharon served on the Board of Directors as Vice President of the North Flatbush Avenue BID for 5 years. Sharon moved to Brooklyn from her home on Manhattan’s upper west side nearly 12 years ago. Her adult children also live in Brooklyn now.
Supplemental Street/Sidewalk Sweeping
The North Flatbush Avenue BID provides street sweeping services to assist businesses in maintaining a clean appearance along the six-block commercial zone. Our street sweeper works 7 days a weeks and empties the trash in our corner receptacles for Sanitation pick up. Our maintenance vendor (Atlantic Maintenance Corporation) is at work seven days a week!
The BID provides members with graffiti removal services for main doors and gates to maintain clean physical conditions that create a more appealing environment for shoppers and residents. Any property owner can contact our offices for information on Graffiti removal.
Promotions & Advertisements
We offer childrens events, special events during holidays, we host free merchant workshops and speaker venues, merchant sponsored banners, shopping and services guide with merchant sponsored advertising, website, facebook and twitter feeds. We work with editors of local online news outlets to keep them informed of new intitiatives in our area. We encourage everyone to sign up for our monthly E-news newsletter for all the latest info in the North Flatbush Avenue district.
The BID advocates for the street and sidewalk improvements through written proposals to government officials. Currently, the BID is working with the NYC Department of Transportation on a $3M capital streetscape project to enhance the triangle parks along the corridor of Flatbush Avenue. We intend to transform these spaces into public plazas with planters and benches as a quick respit for shoppers. You can view the plans on our website. We epect to start construction in 2013-2014.
We encourage neighbors to check out our website regularly for information on any new intitiatives and events that we are promoting. You can find any one of our Shopping and Services Guide along North Flatbush Avenue shops. Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter for daily updates on our small merchants. Keep up to date, dont be left out.