Volume 22, Number 05 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | June 19 - 25, 2009
By Patrick Hedlund
Getting down to BID’ness
The recently minted Hudson Square Business Improvement District will get to work out of its new offices on Varick St. starting July 1.
The BID — which will serve the area roughly bounded by Houston St. to the north, Canal St. to the south, Sixth Ave. to the east and Greenwich St. to the west — is being headed by new president Ellen Baer.
The improvement district’s offices, at 180 Varick St. near the corner of Charlton St., sit across the street from radio station WNYC’s new headquarters.
The BID will focus on marketing the neighborhood and quality-of-life issues, but will not handle other traditional improvement district duties, such as street cleaning and security. The district’s $1.7 million budget comes from property owners, who pay a fee of about 19 cents per square foot.
“As Hudson Square emerges as the new home for next-generation creative companies, the BID’s goal is to channel the innovation occurring in every building into the public realm,” Baer said.
The BID’s board of directors is comprised of property owners, commercial tenants, an area resident and local elected officials, and is chaired by WNYC President and C.E.O. Laura Walker.
Tobi Bergman, a Hudson Square resident and Community Board 2’s nonvoting representative to the BID, said easing neighborhood traffic will be one of the organization’s main concerns moving forward. The former Printing District’s retail viability and beautifying the streetscape also remain central goals, he said. Bergman did have one gripe, though.
“I wish they would have come up with a better name than Hudson Square,” he lamented of the oft-debated topic of the neighborhood’s name. “It sounds like a shopping mall.”