Feb 14, 2019

Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership BID Announces Appointment of James Mettham as Executive Director

(New York. N.Y.) – The Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership Business Improvement District (BID), which strengthens two of the city’s most dynamic neighborhoods, Flatiron and Nomad, today announced the appointment of James Mettham as the organization’s new Executive Director. Mr. Mettham, who has a wealth of public service experience working with BIDs across New York City, will start in the position on March 11th. 

Mr. Mettham currently serves as Managing Director of Finance and Operations at the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership and previously held several key positions with the New York City Department of Small Business Services (SBS), including as Assistant Commissioner and Executive Director of BID Program Management where he oversaw the formation and expansion efforts of BIDs across the city.

“James Mettham impressed us with his experience, capability, and vitality,” said Gregg Schenker, Chairman of the Flatiron Partnership’s Board of Directors. “The Flatiron Partnership was fortunate to have been led by our founding Executive Director, Jennifer Brown, for more than 12 years until her recent move. While we received applications from more than 70 people, many with stellar credentials, James stood out because of his enthusiasm and forward-thinking approach.”

As Executive Director, Mr. Mettham will work closely with property owners, retailers, restaurants, residents, community leaders, elected officials, and agency heads to ensure Flatiron – which has seen the growth of the NoMad area within its northern boundary - continues to thrive and remains a global destination in which to live, work, and visit. His arrival comes as the Flatiron Partnership moves to expand the district’s boundaries to serve more property owners, businesses, employees, residents, and visitors.

In recent years, the district has witnessed significant growth in a number of sectors – such as tech, hospitality, creative services, fitness, coworking, and residential – and continues to have one of the city’s lowest vacancy rates. In addition to supporting the neighborhood’s economy, the Flatiron Partnership has been spearheading efforts to make permanent the popular Public Plazas, which flank the Broadway, Fifth Avenue, and 23rd Street intersection and anchor many of the Flatiron Partnership’s free, seasonal programming.

“Flatiron is an exceptional district, and I have long admired the Flatiron Partnership’s role in maintaining a safe, vibrant, and appealing district where people want to live, work, learn, and play,” Mr. Mettham said. “I hope to build on the innovation and creativity that has elevated the Flatiron Partnership into one of our city’s premier BIDs, and thank the Board for this wonderful opportunity. I’m excited to get to work.”

At the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, Mr. Mettham oversaw the operations and finances of the central business district’s local development corporation and three BIDs. Previously, at SBS, he last served as Assistant Commissioner in the agency’s Neighborhood Development Division, where he led a staff charged with strengthening and revitalizing commercial districts across 100 New York City neighborhoods.  Prior to that, in his role as SBS’s Executive Director of the Business Improvement District Program, he provided oversight and support to the city’s network of BIDs and coordinated the provision of more than $120 million in annual assessment funds to them.

During his earlier tenure with the New York City Economic Development Corporation, he held several positions in the organization’s real estate transaction services and strategic investments groups last serving as Senior Project Manager, where he supported businesses expanding or relocating in New York City and helped commercial and manufacturing businesses to access New York City Industrial Development Agency benefits.

He holds a Master of Urban Planning degree from New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Pittsburgh, and is a Brooklyn resident.

The search process was led by Harris Rand Lusk.

Download the full press release.

Photo Credit: Rashmi Gill

Sep 25, 2018

Flatiron Where Then Meets Now: Hospitality Hotspot

The Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership BID's eighth annual Flatiron: Where Then Meets Now report showcases the significant development and growth of the hospitality sector in the district.

Subtitled “The Flatiron District: Hospitality Hotspot,” this year’s report comprehensively describes the district’s 2018 vital statistics, and highlights the strength of its hospitality sector, which has contributed to the neighborhood’s overall economic growth. The report is among a suite of publications from the BID that focuses on the real estate market in the neighborhood.

>> Download the Report Here

“The growth of the hospitality sector in the Flatiron District has been remarkable, as this report demonstrates,” said Jennifer Brown, the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership’s Executive Director. “It’s easy to see why hotel developers want to be in Flatiron. With the neighborhood’s central location, proximity to historic and cultural sites, plethora of restaurants, and easy access to public transportation, Flatiron is a popular destination for tourists and local visitors alike. The report also shows that Flatiron is a dynamic neighborhood with an irresistible mix of commercial and residential sectors.”

“Flatiron is a welcoming destination for global travelers who want to experience everything that comes with one of Manhattan's most dynamic neighborhoods—world-class arts and culture, rich history and architecture, and exciting dining and nightlife,” said Fred Dixon, President and CEO of NYC & Company,the official destination marketing organization for the five boroughs of New York City. “With everything the neighborhood has to offer, including its wonderful and growing array of hotels, Flatiron's hospitality is an integral part of the New York City tourism landscape.”

From 21st to 28th Streets, and Sixth Avenue east to Third Avenue, the BID boundaries cover about 21.8 million square feet of commercial space and house approximately 4,200 commercial tenants and 560 ground-floor businesses. Since the establishment of the BID—one of 75 in the city—in 2006, Flatiron has undergone a dramatic transformation into a safe, clean, and desirable neighborhood sought out by all types of people, businesses, industries, and interests.

As New York City’s tourism boom continues—with a 19.8% growth in visitors in the last five years and 65.1 million tourists expected citywide this year—the Flatiron District’s hospitality sector has grown substantially. The number of hotel rooms in and around the neighborhood is up 93.8% since 2011, to a total of 4,652.

With another 1,620 hotel rooms currently under development in the neighborhood, Flatiron is a prime illustration of a broader citywide trend: one out of every five dwelling units now under construction in New York City is a hotel. The number of New York City hotel units in the construction pipeline has doubled between 2013 and 2018. Among the seven hotels currently in development in Flatiron include the Renaissance Hotel, Moxy Hotel, Ritz Carlton, Virgin Hotel, and Springhill Suites Marriott.

Sixty restaurants, bars, cafes, and retailers operate within the area’s 25 hotels, offering both tourists—as well as New Yorkers—more than just a place to stay. Flatiron: Where Then Meets Now takes a deep dive into the rich history, beautiful architecture, luxurious amenities, and diverse dining options at five of the district’s most exciting hotel developments: Freehand Hotel, The James New York NoMad, The Evelyn Hotel, The New York EDITION, and The NoMad Hotel.

The report also provides a snapshot of how hotel development on both Broadway and 28th Street have been catalysts for business growth, paving the way for other new and trendy dining and retail offerings nearby.

 >> Flatiron Where Then Meets Now - Flatiron District: Hospitality Hotspot 

Photo credit: Benoit-Linero

Mar 22, 2017

City Lights Comes to the Flatiron District

NYCDOT has begun work on City Light, a distinctive lighting project in the Flatiron District. The 63 energy efficient light poles will feature LED light bulbs for greater illumination along 23rd Street (between Third and Sixth Avenue) and Broadway (between 20th and 28th Street).

Architect Thomas Phifer & Partners was the winner of an international design competition held by the NYC Department of Design & Construction (DDC). City Lights seamlessly provides crisper light through light-emitting diodes (LED).

The City Lights program has been long-supported by the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership and Phase One was funded with a $575,000 grant from New York City Council and the Manhattan Borough President. City Lights enhance safety in the district by providing higher quality lighting while improving the public realm through the new design.

“This much-anticipated project will help this dynamic neighborhood shine even more – and while saving energy,” said Jennifer Brown, Executive Director of the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership. “I’d like to thank the DOT and DDC, and our City officials for their work to improve the pedestrian experience with this sleek, new amenity.”

Each new fixture will include LEDs, which provide higher-quality, more natural light. Further benefits include  reduced maintenance costs, more efficient electricity usage, and a lower carbon footprint.

For more information on the City Light design and all DOT projects, visit nyc.gov/dot.

Nov 23, 2016

Flatiron Partnership and Van Alen Institute Unveil Winner of Flatiron Public Plaza Holiday Design Competition: Flatiron Sky-Line by LOT

On Monday, November 21st, the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership and Van Alen Institute unveiled LOT’s Flatiron Sky-Line, the winner of the Flatiron Public Plaza Holiday Design Competition, the third annual competition of its kind, which called for proposals from New York City designers for a temporary installation in the heart of the Flatiron District. Flatiron Sky-Line will be the centerpiece of the Partnership’s annual holiday programming and a highly visible landmark in this thriving New York City neighborhood.

Flatiron Sky-Line is a series of ten large contiguous arches constructed of white powder-coated steel tubes with LED lights. Hammocks suspended from the arches allow visitors to relax and gaze upon the district’s architectural sights. LOT, an architectural and design firm based in New York City and Greece and directed by principals Eleni Petaloti and Leonidas Trampoukis, has developed an array of projects across the world, ranging from objects and installations to interior spaces and buildings, including showrooms, lofts, and sculptural displays. Flatiron Sky-Line will be the firm’s first large-scale public installation in New York City.

Flatiron Sky-Line creates a dynamic new social space underneath its illuminated arches. The structure invites visitors to walk within and around it, gaze through it toward the skyline, and experience the Flatiron District’s surroundings through a unique lens,” said Leonidas Trampoukis. “The simplicity of the design draws in passersby and inspires them to savor this iconic intersection.”

The installation will remain on view to the public on the North Flatiron Public Plaza at Broadway, Fifth Avenue, and 23rd Street through the holidays as part of the Partnership’s “23 Days of Flatiron Cheer” programming. The installation is permitted through NYC DOT Art and is open from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., daily, weather permitting.

Download the full press release here.

For high-res images, click here.

Jun 10, 2016

Press Release: Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership’s Annual Flatiron Summer Series Full Lineup Unveiled, Featuring 8 Weeks of Free Tech Classes, Fitness, Games, and Entertainment on the Flatiron Public Plazas

Starting this month, the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership Business Improvement District (BID) is holding eight weeks of free community programming - fitness sessions, tech courses, games, and entertainment - on the Flatiron Public Plazas in the shadow of the famed Flatiron Building this summer.

The BID will launch the 2016 Flatiron Summer Series with a special event - in partnership with the National Museum of Mathematics (MoMath) - to celebrate the Summer Solstice on Monday, June 20. Starting the next day, activities will run every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday through August 11 on the Flatiron Public Plazas at 23rd Street, Broadway and Fifth Avenue.

“The Flatiron Public Plazas are always abuzz with people, particularly in the summer,” said the Flatiron BID’s Executive Director Jennifer Brown. "Every year, we hear from residents, employees, and visitors that they enjoy lively programming in our plazas, so we're excited to provide an even more robust lineup this summer."

The 2016 Flatiron Summer Series takes place on the North and South Plazas – located at the intersection of 23rd Street, Broadway, and Fifth Avenue. To view the full calendar of local events, RSVP to classes, and discover more about special offers in the neighborhood, visit: www.FlatironDistrict.nyc/summer2016.

Download the full press release here

Jun 10, 2016

Press Release: Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership Unveils Video to Celebrate a Decade of Transformation, Partnerships, and Success

The Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership Business Improvement District (BID) is celebrating its 10th anniversary by unveiling a video illustrating the significant transformation of the neighborhood over the last decade.

The video – which was first shown at the BID’s Annual Meeting this Tuesday - focuses on the amazing neighborhood of today and all that it has to offer. 

“The neighborhood of today is a model of progress and growth, a desirable mixed use community, brimming with commercial activity, residents, visitors from around the world, cultural amenities, and promise,” Jennifer Brown, the BID’s Executive Director since its inception, said at the Annual Meeting before showing the video.

The video illustrates the diversity of the neighborhood, showcasing the dynamic dining, commercial, and cultural options, the appeal as a world-class destination to visitors from across the globe, and the growth of the residential and technology, advertising, media and information sectors.

Download the press release here.


Jun 9, 2016

Press Release: Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership Celebrates 10 Years of Partnerships at Annual Meeting on June 7th

The Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership Business Improvement District (BID) celebrated a decade of partnerships, progress and promise at its 10th Annual Meeting on Tuesday June 7th.

At the event, held at the Grey Group overlooking the BID’s twin Public Plazas that anchor many of its activities, close to 200 people – from small business owners to major property owners to residents - gathered to applaud the considerable changes that have transformed the neighborhood since 2006.

“The neighborhood of today is a model of progress and growth, a desirable mixed use community, brimming with commercial activity, residents, visitors from around the world, cultural amenities, and promise,” said Jennifer Brown, the BID’s Executive Director since its inception.

“This is the result of years of hard work, and many, many individuals,” she said, reflecting on the origins of the BID’s creation. “Our mission, in many ways, was simple: to provide a clean, safe and welcoming environment for those who work in, live in and visit the district, to beatify it, and to market and promote the diverse business and cultural attractions of the area.”

Since those early days, the BID has led a transformation of the neighborhood into a hub of technology, advertising, media and information, and a destination with world-class dining, robust retail options, appealing cultural venues, and vibrant residential life.

Download the full press release here

View photos here

Image of 2016 Annual Meeting via Angelito Jusay Photography.

Dec 1, 2015

Flatiron Partnership to Launch Annual “23 Days of Flatiron Cheer” Season with Food Drive on Giving Tuesday

The Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership Business Improvement District (BID) launched the fourth annual “23 Days of Flatiron Cheer” season on Tuesday, December 1st - known as Giving Tuesday – with a 23-day-long food drive to support the Food Bank For New York City.

With so many New Yorkers experiencing hunger and hardship, the BID is holding the food drive throughout December to benefit the city’s major hunger relief organization. 

“As the Food Bank For New York City just reported, 90% of food pantries and soup kitchens surveyed noted an increase in the number of visitors in September 2015 compared with two years ago, and nearly half reported they had run out of food or particular types of food needed to make adequate meals or pantry bags,” Jennifer Brown, Executive Director of the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership. “It’s more important than ever to step up to help New Yorkers who are struggling to put food on the table this time of year.”

The BID is collecting non-perishable foods such as canned fruit, canned vegetables, peanut butter, macaroni and cheese, and hot and cold cereal at the North Flatiron Public Plaza during seven “Live on the Plaza” events throughout the month. 

Donations also will be accepted online - which doubles, or even triples, the amount a dollar can provide at the grocery store. You can make a contribution at: http://bit.ly/1X3ttt1.

Already, a number of neighborhood businesses have signed up as partners and will be hosting food drives in their spaces. Among the participants to date are: Carnegie Fabrics, General Assembly, NYC Seminar and Conference Center, qLabs/Quotidian Ventures, Regus, Rise New York, Select Office Suites, The Yard, WeWork, and Yelp. Local Flatiron businesses interested in hosting a drive may contact the Flatiron BID for more information at info@flatironbid.org.

Additionally, Contributing Sponsor Macmillan will donate $5,000 worth of books to First Book, a nonprofit organization connecting book publishers and community organizations to provide access to new books for children in need. The books from Macmillan’s donation will be distributed to children within the five boroughs.

Now in its fourth year, “23 Days of Flatiron Cheer” runs from December 1st to the 23rd and features free, holiday-themed events showcasing the intersection of shopping, dining, and culture in the neighborhood. The event is made possible with generous support from Presenting Sponsors Tiffany & Co. and Meringoff Properties, and Contributing Sponsors Grey Group and Macmillan.

Download the full press release here.

Nov 19, 2015

Flatiron Partnership and Van Alen Institute Unveil Winner of Flatiron Public Plaza Holiday Design Competition

On Wednesday, November 18th, the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership Business Improvement District (BID) and Van Alen Institute unveiled SOFTlab’s Nova, the winner of the Flatiron Public Plaza Holiday Design Competition that serves as the centerpiece of the Partnership’s annual holiday programming and a highly visible landmark in this thriving neighborhood of New York. The second annual competition of its kind, the initiative called for proposals from New York design firms for a temporary installation for the holidays at the heart of the Flatiron District.

The crystalline Nova installation compels passersby to enter the structure and gaze onto Flatiron’s iconic landmarks, framed by apertures in the installation’s exterior. The placement of scopes, or viewing cones, is arranged to represent a centralized proverbial North Star for the Flatiron District, with each scope pointing to a distinct landmark. In effect, Nova acts as an observatory for the “constellation” of iconic sites: the Flatiron Building, Met Life Tower clock tower, Empire State Building, and surrounding landmarks. LEDs within Nova react to sound and create a pulsating light effect when activated.

“Using a mix of optical materials, our design creates a human scale kaleidoscope, remixing the surrounding iconic buildings with color, light, and the reflections of pedestrians,” said Michael Szivos, Founder and Principal at SOFTlab. “Although our design reads as an iconic and festive figure from above, the experience at the pedestrian level is very different. The exterior gives way to a crystal-like, mirror-surfaced interior that looks different from all sides.”

SOFTlab’s installation opened to the public on Wednesday, November 18th—on the North Flatiron Public Plaza at Broadway, Fifth Avenue and 23rd Street—and will remain on view through the holidays as part of the Partnership’s annual “23 Days of Flatiron Cheer” programming. The installation is permitted through NYC DOT Art.

Nova was selected from a closed call competition held by the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership and Van Alen Institute, an organizer of design competitions for over 120 years. Five design and architecture firms were invited to submit proposals for this year’s installation. The invited firms were Bureau V, Method Design, Sage and Coombe, SOFTlab, and Studio KCA. A jury with expertise across the worlds of design and public art reviewed the proposals, including representatives from the BID’s Board of Directors, as well as Van Alen Institute’s Board of Trustees.

"The annual holiday installation is now a tradition in the district that is enjoyed by visitors and locals alike.  It provides a festive and magical experience on the Public Plaza during the holiday season,” said Flatiron Partnership Executive Director Jennifer Brown.  “We are particularly proud that this year’s installation is a true local effort – not only in our partnership with Van Alen Institute, but also in the selection of a neighborhood design firm, SOFTlab.”

“This project is a fantastic opportunity to engage with a local site and designer,” said David van der Leer, Executive Director of Van Alen Institute. “SOFTlab’s Nova offers a playful and unusual perspective of the landmarks and street life surrounding the plaza that is a visually stimulating and interactive outdoor experience for the holiday season.”

“DOT Art is excited to be partnering with the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership for this second holiday season. The installation illustrates how interactive public art can change the perception of an environment thereby allowing people to experience it in a new way. We count on organizations like the Partnership to commission these exciting installations making NYC streets ever more inviting,” said DOT Assistant Commissioner of Design + Art + Wayfinding Wendy Feuer.

“Design is always about creating magical experiences, and we’re excited to see 3M materials inspire SOFTlab to connect imagination with space and community for this year’s winning Flatiron installation,” said Eric Quint, Chief Design Officer at 3M. “Collaborative creativity is what sparks ongoing new possibilities in our world of design; the Nova project demonstrates this, transforming 3M optical materials for light management into a new context of art and architecture in the heart of the Flatiron District.”

Sponsored by the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership, Nova and the accompanying programming “23 Days of Flatiron Cheer” is also made possible with generous support from Presenting Sponsors Tiffany & Co. and Meringoff Properties, Contributing Sponsors Grey Group and Macmillan.

To download the full press release, click here.

To download high resolution images of Nova, click here.

Images copyright 3M



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