CB 12 backs Sutphin Blvd. plan

CB 12 backs Sutphin Blvd. plan
By Ivan Pereira

Community Board 12 is backing the Sutphin Boulevard Business Improvement District’s plans to spruce up the stores on the street and make it a go-to place for shoppers and visitors.

The board voted unanimously during its meeting April 20 to write a letter of support for the BID’s application for the state’s Main Street Grant Program. Simone Price, executive director of the BID, said the money will be used to improve the facade of several stores on the boulevard between 89th and 90th avenues and the streetscapes between Hillside and 94th avenues.

“It includes the fee for the design of the construction and the construction itself,” she said.

Price needed community board approval before she could submit the application to the state Division of Housing and Community Renewal. The exact amount of the grant will be determined by the cost of an individual store owner’s facade project, but could range anywhere from $50,000 to $500,000, according to Price.

In order to be approved, the applicant must submit a specific plan for urban renewal and demonstrate that it would help the community and its residents, according to Price.

The executive director said her BID has had numerous projects to help revitalize the area, including the removal of the fence surrounding the Civil Court building and summer concerts on the boulevard.

Those shows will continue this summer, but in fewer numbers, Price said.

This was the first board meeting since former Chairwoman Adjoa Gzifa was suddenly removed by City Councilman Leroy Comrie (D-St. Albans). She sent a letter to fellow members thanking them for letting her be part of the board for 16 years and vowed to keep fighting for quality-of-life issues in southeast Queens.

“My voice will be continued to heard for the residents,” she wrote.

Comrie did not attend the meeting, but three of his representatives, including Chief of Staff Rance Huff, were in the audience. A special election will take place during next month’s meeting May 18 to vote in a new chairperson.

Boyce reported that District Manager Yvonne Reddick was still recuperating from serious injuries she suffered in a auto accident three weeks ago, but is doing well.

Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at 718-260-4546.