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Chinatown Gets Business Improvement District

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The City Council approved a Business Improvement District (BID) for Manhattan's Chinatown. The BID will take annual fees from local businesses to help clean up streets and attract more customers.

City Councilwoman Margaret Chin, who represents Chinatown, said the BID would not only help businesses, but the overall quality of life in her district. "This has been a longtime coming, and for our community this is historic because Chinatown will be ready to join the rest of lower Manhattan in the re-birth of after 9/11," she said.

The BID will designate $1 million of its $1.3 million first year budget for extra sanitation efforts — with more garbage pick up and extensive street cleaning. The additional funds will go towards holiday lighting and street maintenance.

Those opposed the BID said it put an unnecessary burden on small businesses.

Long-time property owner Jan Lee said the costs seriously out-weigh the benefits. "This is the most inefficient, most expensive, most top heavy way to sweep the sidewalks of Chinatown."

Lee said the neighborhood had already gone through clean-up initiatives like the Chinatown Partnership. He said the partnership spent millions on cleaning up Chinatown, and it did little to help business.

Councilwoman Chin assured businesses that they would make more money with the BID’s improvement to the neighborhood, and it offset the extra costs.

Chinatown has approximately 150,000 residents and serves many of the 600,000 ethnic Chinese living in New York City. Approximately 1,400 street-level businesses and 1,891 different property owners will fall under the Chinatown BID.

The bill passed 50-0. The legislation goes into effect immediately, but it will take about five months before the BID is fully functioning.

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Comments [2]

BID Resident

When is Councilwoman Margaret Chin due for re election? Its time to get her out

Sep. 23 2011 04:48 AM

This is a sad day for Chinatown. Against the public interest and against legitimate and verified protest and objection from the Chinatown community, Councilmember Margaret Chin and the NYC Council have railroaded this business improvement district proposal which only supports gentrification and will hurt local small businesses and small property owners with a double tax. This is politics at its worst and Councilmember Margaret Chin is history! The Chinatown BID proposal has the Most Verified Objections ever filed with the City Clerk ever- more Verfiied Objections than any other BID in NYC BID history! Shame on Councilmember Chin for selling this proposal with less than a quarter of unsubstantiated respondents to a "survey" as her basis to show that Chinatown actually wanted this BID. No!! It is proven and verified that Chinatown clearly does not want this bad Chinatown BID to go forward!

Sep. 22 2011 11:29 AM

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