Making a Bid for Glendale?

Business Leaders Mull Special Services District

Introducing a business improvement district (BID) in Glendale is one idea neighborhood merchants are considering in their quest to attract new customers and beautify the community.

During the Glendale Chamber of Commerce’s February meeting, Myrtle Avenue BID Executive Director Ted Renz made a presentation to business owners and answered their questions regarding the various services the district provides, from enhanced sanitation collection to marketing campaigns.

Renz told the Times Newsweekly in a phone interview last Friday, Mar. 7, the Glendale Chamber invited him to speak after a number of business owners on Myrtle Avenue between Fresh Pond Road and Cooper Avenue-outside of the BID- expressed interest in obtaining services similar to what the Myrtle Avenue BID provides Ridgewood merchants.

While “all this is very premature,” Renz noted, the concept of bringing BID services to Glendale-and northward along Fresh Pond Road between Myrtle and Metropolitan avenues in Ridgewood-has often been raised by merchants and elected officials alike.

As previously reported, Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan sent a letter last October to the city’s Department of Small Business Services asking for a Fresh Pond Road BID. Renz noted that Assemblyman Mike Miller and City Council Member Elizabeth Crowley made similar overtures to the city regarding a BID for Glendale.

Should Glendale merchants and/or Fresh Pond Road business owners desire a BID, Renz said, there are multiple options available to them.

One involves expanding the Myrtle Avenue BID along Fresh Pond Road and/or along Myrtle Avenue through Glendale to Cooper Avenue. Another idea would be to create new, separate BIDs for Fresh Pond Road and Myrtle Avenue in Glendale, affiliated with the Myrtle Avenue BID in Ridgewood through a community partnership organization.

The third option would create one giant Ridgewood/Glendale BID encompassing Myrtle Avenue between Wyckoff and Cooper avenues and Fresh Pond Road between Metropolitan and Myrtle avenues. Renz noted this idea is similar to the proposed expansion of the 82nd Street BID in Jackson Heights to include much of Roosevelt Avenue on the Corona/Elmhurst/Jackson Heights border.

Any of the options, however, would require funding for a feasibility study and a law passed by the City Council and signed by the mayor.

Renz stated the process could take more than a year to complete.

Last week, Renz testified before the City Council requesting expense budget funds for the Ridgewood Local Development Corporation (RLDC) to explore the possibility of incorporating Myrtle Avenue between Cooper Avenue and Fresh Pond Road into the Myrtle Avenue BID.

“But we’re a long way off from that,” he cautioned.

In the end, however, the decision may come down to cost, according to Renz. To keep up with rising expenses, he noted, the Myrtle Avenue BID is seeking a budget increase this year-the first such request in at least five years.

Business owners contributing to the BID would likely be asked to provide more for its services.

Werner Lehner of the Glendale Chamber of Commerce, also coowner of Zum Stammtisch restaurant, told the Times Newsweekly on Monday, Mar. 10, he finds the BID concept to be “a positive thing” and a possibility in the years to come.

The decision on whether to introduce a BID in Glendale, however, ultimately rests with the merchants.

“The bottom line is that everyone wants to know what it’s going to cost them,” he said.