February 7, By Hannah Wulkan
The plan to expand the Jackson Heights Business Improvement District has been halted, according to sources briefed on the matter.
The BID expansion, which would have added stores up Roosevelt Avenue from 82nd Street to 104th Street to the district, lacked support, according to those who opposed it. The Jackson Heights BID currently covers just over a block of businesses on 82nd Street.
If the expansion had moved forward, it would have brought BID services to the new streets, such as dedicated workers to clean the sidewalks, marketing, events and streetscaping.
The proposal to expand the BID was put forward by Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras-Copeland and the current BID, called the 82nd Street Partnership, in 2014, but was met with extreme opposition from local small business owners, street vendors and community members.
Many claimed the BID would gentrify the area and put small shops and street vendors out of business.
Tania Mattos, a co-founder and activist with Queens Neighborhood United, said she found out the BID would not be moving forward earlier this month. Her group was established with purpose of stopping BID expansion.
Mattos credited her organization for helping to stop the expansion. She said her members protested and petitioned against it.
Mattos said that moving forward, QNU plans on releasing a report detailing the methods it used to stop the BID expansion, and also plans to call out specific elected officials and representatives that “instead of supporting and working with us, demeaned our communities and streets and families by saying that Roosevelt Avenue is the new Times Square,” Mattos said.
Executive Director of the 82nd Street Partnership Leslie Ramos declined to comment and Ferreras-Copeland did not respond for comment.