BID Expansion

The Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership Business Improvement District (BID) is exploring the possibility of expanding its boundaries to include additional adjacent blocks and form a more cohesive, clean, and safe neighborhood. The Flatiron BID was established in 2006 and has since transformed the neighborhood, serving as a catalyst for revitalization over the past 12 years. The Flatiron BID provides services such as sidewalk sweeping and graffiti removal, public safety, homeless outreach, community programming, beautification, marketing and a wide variety of additional services. 

Who is the Flatiron / 23rd Street Partnership? 

A BID (or business improvement district) is public/private partnership that is legislatively authorized.  The BID’s Board of Directors is comprised of neighborhood stakeholders, including property owners, commercial tenants, residents, and public officials and Community Boards.  The BID’s budget is paid for via an assessment that is levied on commercial property owners in the district.  In return, the BID provides services such as cleaning, public safety, homeless outreach, beautification, marketing, and other initiatives to support local businesses and drive economic development. The BID acts as a steward of the neighborhood and advocates for continued enhancements on behalf of the property owners, businesses, and residents. 

What services does the BID provide? 

Clean & Safe 

The BID employs dedicated groups of men and women to keep the neighborhood clean, and to keep it safe. The dedicated Clean Team crew works daily to remove litter, graffiti, bills and stickers and to paint and beautify the streetscape.   The Public Safety Officers work year-round and act as the eyes and ears of the neighborhood and report any unsafe street conditions or activity.  They also act as ambassadors to the area and assist locals and visitors alike. For homeless outreach in the Flatiron District, the BID works with Urban Pathways, a non-profit social service organization to provide direct outreach and support to the homeless in the area. 

Streetscape & Beautification 

The BID’s beautification efforts greatly enhance the streetscape of the neighborhood.  The BID installed and continues to maintain and plant tree pits and guards and hanging flower baskets, as well as many other district-wide streetscape initiatives such as enhanced lighting.  The BID also maintains the Flatiron Public Plazas north of and adjacent to the Flatiron Building, which have provided additional public space to the area for workers and residents, and also supported the influx of visitors and free community programming to the area.  The BID’s efforts have dramatically transformed the look and feel of the area over its 12 years of existence. 

Marketing & Programming 

For restaurant, retail and other commercial tenants in the district, the BID provides access to a robust marketing program.  This includes:

·         A weekly electronic newsletter reaches nearly 11,000 individuals and further highlights and promotes local businesses, neighborhood events, and other key initiatives. 

·         Dozens of free community events hosted by the BID throughout the year aimed at networking, information sharing, education, fitness, and fun for those who live, work, and visit the neighborhood.

·         A listing in the Discover Flatiron Map, which is delivered annually to ground floor businesses, hotels, residential buildings, and Baruch College to be included in their new students’ welcome package—75,000 maps distributed in total.

·         Promotion of commercial tenants in neighborhood guides, event and business listings on the website, through BID hosted events, and via social media. 

·         Neighborhood branding such as the Flatiron District via banners, umbrellas, tree pits and other branded components of the streetscape beautification cultivate the perception of Flatiron as a consumer destination.

How has the Partnership made a difference in the neighborhood?

Since the BID's launch in 2006, the neighborhood has seen profound changes for the better - and the BID has played a major role in effecting that change. 

How is the BID funded?

Today, the BID has an annual assessment of $2.2 million funded by the area’s commercial property owners.  The assessment is based on the total BID budget, divided by the square footage of commercial space. Currently, the BID assessment is roughly 11 cents per commercial square foot, anticipated to increase to up to roughly 14.5 cents per commercial square foot over the next three years.  Residential buildings and units pay $1 dollar per tax lot.  

We want to hear from YOU

Please fill out our Needs Assessment Survey to help us know what is most important to you! 

Flatiron BID Expansion Needs Assessment Survey

Should you have any questions, please contact expansion@flatironbid.org

How is a BID expanded?

The BID expansion effort is a regulated process outlined by the City of New York.  The process consists of the planning, community outreach, and legislative phases. We are currently in the planning stage and we hope to enter the outreach phase by the end of October 2018. 

Phase 1: Planning 

  • Get approval from the existing BID Board to pursue an expansion.
  • A Steering Committee is formed, which is comprised of various stakeholders from the community – property owners, businesses, residents, and retailers.
  • Hold initial planning session and identify boundaries.
  • Develop a database of property owners and tenants in the expansion area.
  • Conduct a needs assessment survey that is approved by the Steering Committee.
  • Determine the services and first-year budget.
  • Establish the assessment formula for the expanded district.
  • Prepare for engagement and draft the amended District Plan.
  • A Finalized Statement of Support is approved by the Steering Committee and the City’s Small Business Services agency. 

Phase 2: Outreach 

After finalizing the District Plan, the Steering Committee begins to conduct outreach to both inform the public and build support for the BID. Outreach will consist of official mailings to all stakeholders in the proposed expansion area, as well as a series of public meetings.  If there is enough strong support and the Steering Committee decides to move forward, we will then move into the legislative process potentially by the Spring.

Phase 3: Legislative Authorization

  • Creating or expanding a BID requires approval from the City Council. The proposed District Plan is reviewed by a number of government agencies and local elected officials before going to the City Council for approval.
  • After reviewing the outreach and planning activities described in Phases 1 and 2, the City Council holds public hearings. Following those hearings, the Council will vote on legislation to expand the BID. If the Council approves the legislation, it must then be signed into law by the Mayor.
Quick Stats

89.7%

of 2017 Annual Survey respondents "strongly approved" or "approved" of the work of the BID

46,419

Sanitation Service Hours Provided in 2017

193K

Trash Bags Collected in 2017

290

Graffiti Removals in 2017

93.1%

of 2017 Annual Survey respondents found the BID to be "safer" or "as safe" as most neighborhoods in Manhattan

845

Encounters with Homeless Individuals in FY 2018 by our Homeless Outreach Team

30.8K

Social Media Followers across Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook

178

Tree Pits Planted & Maintained

115

Hanging Flower Baskets

4.0%

Vacancy Rate for Class A & B commercial office buildings

6.6%

Ground Floor Vacancy Rate as of September 2018