By Patrick Donachie
Mayor Bill de Blasio signed legislation creating the Greater JFK Business Improvement District Wednesday, a new BID that will include more than 500 properties in the Springfield Gardens area of southeast Queens.
The BID will work to support the cargo and service businesses located off the John F. Kennedy International Airport property and help to improve conditions for business and residential property owners in the district. City Councilman Donovan Richards (D-Arverne), whose district includes the area where the BID will be located, hailed the legislation as an important new measure.
“The Greater JFK BID seeks to build upon the area’s diversity and major economic significance by serving as an advocate and providing supplemental services and improvements that support a vision for a strong industrial base and improved quality of life for all who live, work or visit the district,” he said.
The JFK BID would extend from the intersection of Rockaway Boulevard and Baisley Pond Park down along the boulevard, hugging the edge of the airport property until Idlewild Park. Community leaders approached the city three years ago about establishing a BID in the area to confront problems detailed in a 2013 report by the city Economic Development Corporation.
In the report, the EDC noted the area needed expanded cargo and logistical services, as well as improvement in infrastructure and easier access between the area and the airport, particularly since so many of the businesses in the proposed BID area consist of support services for the airport. EDC President Maria Torres-Springer remarked on the importance of supporting the burgeoning industry in and around the airport.
“JFK Airport is integral to the city’s economy as the second largest employer in Queens, and area stakeholders, civic groups and businesses play an equally vital role in helping to grow good jobs for the community,” she said.
Services in the BID will also include a way to improve communication between members and policy makers about neighborhood needs, coordination on maintenance and snow removal services as well as public security improvements, including new lighting in the district and the potential use of security cameras.
The Greater JFK BID will be the 73rd BID in New York City and the 13th BID located in Queens. The services the BID provides are funded by an assessment that property owners within the district will pay.
Richards previously announced he will hold a town hall meeting on Nov. 30 at 7 p.m. to discuss the new BID and what it means for area residents, employees and business owners. The meeting will be held at Public School 52 at 178-37 146th Terrace in Springfield Gardens.
Reach reporter Patrick Donachie by e-mail at pdona