By Rich Bockmann
If you spend time on Bell Boulevard, chances are you know about the Bayside Village Business Improvement District — and if you know about the BID, you have probably met Gregg Sullivan.
The gregarious executive director can often be seen walking up and down the street building buzz for his business initiatives, which he has always said focused heavily on bringing foot traffic back to the corridor.
“Before me, no one ever talked about doing street events. Why? Everyone loves them. I’m bringing the fun back to Bayside,” he said.
To that end, Sullivan has announced that the beautification project planned for the Bayside Long Island Rail Road station is ready for its next phase, and by next spring the area between the railroad station and C.J. Sullivan’s should include a mini-park with new landscaping and a gazebo.
“Working with the Bayside Historical Society, the Bayside BID has taken over the LIRR Station Park, and thanks to Keil Brothers of Bayside the grounds that had become an eyesore of overgrowth, weeds, dead trees [and] downed branches and become a home and breading ground for garden snakes and rodents has now been cleared” Sullivan said.
The BID has reached an agreement to permanently move the trash container between the railroad station and C.J. Sullivan’s to the other side of the station house, and Sullivan said the concrete pad the container sits on will be power washed, transforming what he called “Bayside’s most embarrassing monument to garbage” into a pedestrian mall that will welcome train riders.
“We’re even going to have a world-class, Carnegie Hall/Lincoln Center soprano come in and help ring in the new place,” he said.
He thanked The Briarwood Organization for a donation that will help the BID remove masonry in the center island drive and replace it with landscaping, and said there are plans with the historical society to replace the obelisk dedicated to Bayside soldiers who served in the world wars that was moved to Northern Boulevard.
Sullivan also released the BID’s fall schedule of events, which includes a fire and safety awareness day music festival for Oct. 1 from noon to 6 p.m. He said the city will not allow the BID to close Bell Boulevard for street events, but he can close side streets and the awareness day will close the down 40th Avenue and 214th Street near the Engine 306 fire house, where there will be an educational, life-sized rubber hook and ladder fire engine for children to explore.
The BID will also produce a retail expo Oct. 9 and its second-annual Bayside Village Arts and Crafts Fair Oct. 16.
And to close out October, it will sponsor a Halloween window decorating contest that will give residents, shoppers and spectators the opportunity to vote for their favorite display on the BID’s website.
For more information, contact Gregg Sullivan at 917-400-1007.
Reach reporter Rich Bockmann by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-260-4574.