HISTORY OF THE YONKERS DOWNTOWN/WATERFRONT BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT (BID)
The Downtown/Waterfront Business Improvement District, Inc. of Yonkers, NY is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation created in 2002. The BID was formed to build working partnerships, encourage investment, and support initiatives for a healthier commercial district in the downtown of Yonkers.
The public/private partnership between the BID and the City of Yonkers delivers supplemental services such as sanitation and maintenance, public safety and visitor services, marketing and promotional programs, capital improvements and beautification in downtown waterfront Yonkers. Additionally, the BID operates an up-to-date website www.YonkersDowntown.com.
The services provided by the Yonkers Downtown BID are supplemental to the services provided to the district by the City of Yonkers and its agencies.
The Yonkers Downtown/Waterfront Business Improvement District (YDWBID) is an agent for businesses within its specific geographic bounds. The YDWBID serves to formulate, promote and implement the economic revitalization and general welfare of the District and the City of Yonkers. The BID forms public/private partnerships to maintain its streets, contributes to public safety, landscapes the district with flowers and greenery, markets special events and creates promotional opportunities to highlight the area. Additionally, the BID preserves and encourages the cultural, historic, tourist and civic interest of the District and the City of Yonkers. The BID mobilizes available public and private resources for the above purposes and provides a mechanism by which property owners, retail establishments, service firms, employers, citizens and others cooperate to develop business opportunities, employment, consumer choices, shopping facilities and general civic interest. Furthermore, the BID assists, participates and contributes to the activities of other organizations, individuals, public and private entities within and outside the City to promote the Business Improvement District.
The Board of Directors of the BID is comprised of seven property owners (Class A) and two tenants with commercial leases (Class B) in the downtown Yonkers geographic area defined in the establishing legislation. These members are elected by a vote of their respective class every two years at the Annual Meeting. Also on the board are one resident (Class C) and three ex officio members (the Mayor, the Chief Financial Officer of the City and the Council person in whose district the BID properties lie) (Class D).
Some of the initiatives with which the BID has traditionally and historically been involved are:
- Sidewalk Sales, with Music in the Square on First Fridays.
- Producing and sponsoring Yonkers Riverfest, Main Street Films @ Dusk, Jazz, Blues and more at Dusk on the Yonkers Waterfront, Winterscape on North Broadway, Holiday tree lightings, pet parades and special events, Evolution Arts, River Day, Business Seminars, art and photography exhibitions.
- Producing and marketing Yonkers Downtown International Restaurant Week
- Maintain an up-to-date website
- Publish quarterly newsletters
- Manage grants
- Landscaping and beautification programs of all planters, the Getty Square Triangle, and other sites.
- Marketing assistance for existing business and other entities within the District. Conducting Downtown Ribbon-Cuttings (the BID Welcome Wagon)
- Fund and manage the ranger street-cleaning program
- Working with the City of Yonkers on graffiti and poster removal.
- Continued advocacy for the specific needs of each business and the overall needs of the downtown.
- Reporting of lights out, potholes, streets in needs of repair.
- Communication and notification to businesses of events, parades, downtown construction, etc.
- Communication daily with government officials, the YPD and other city agencies to address the needs of Yonkers Downtown.
- Gumbusting and powerwashing of sidewalks, storefronts and store awnings.
- Purchase of Downtown Quality of Life Cameras.