Flatbush Junction BID recognized for its socio-economic development program.
Kenneth Mbonu, executive director of the Flatbush Junction BID. Photo credit: Acquisition International

Since it’s inception in 2007, the Flatbush Junction BID has supported local businesses to create a flourishing commercial corridor in the heart of Flatbush

Kenneth Mbonu, executive director of the Flatbush Junction BID. Photo credit: Acquisition International

The Flatbush Nostrand Junction Business Improvement District (BID) was awarded the Best Socio-Economic Community Development Program 2018 by Acquisition International, a UK-based corporate finance magazine. The Flatbush Nostrand Junction has become a vibrant commercial corridor thanks to an economic and community development largely spurred by the Flatbush Junction BID, as the magazine recognized.

“We are humbled that our efforts in strengthening retail diversity and sustainability on our commercial corridor have been recognized on a global scale,” said Kenneth Mbonu, executive director of the Flatbush Nostrand Junction Bid. 

BIDs are a collective of businesses in a community that votes to bring the BID in and through membership fees pays for its utility and services its members believe will improve the quality of life in the neighborhood. Launched in 2007, the Flatbush Junction BID serves the business corridor along Flatbush Ave., from Farragut Road to Avenue H; On Nostrand Ave., from Glenwood Road to Avenue H; and Glenwood Road from Nostrand to Flatbush avenues.

“Over the years, we have been able to create a vibrant commercial district, attract and maintain diverse retail and professional interests and keep vacancy low in spite of the challenging retail environment,” said Mbonu. “These achievements have been the result of our collaborative approach and commitment to excellence for our community.”

The organization offers services such as supplemental sanitation, business development advisory, capital improvements and marketing to the district, beyond those already provided by the city, as well as strategies to further spur the district’s growth.

“Our strategy involves applying non-traditional initiatives in addressing economic development challenges,” said Mbonu. “We are recognized for applying art and design as a platform to initiate discussion and solve problems. It is a less intimidating route to get our clients comfortable with thinking outside the box and embracing new approaches.” 

It’s been a busy year for the Flatbush Junction BID that is readying to celebrate its 10th anniversary and to open a temporary installation of Hillel Place Plaza, a new public community space for cultural exchange and creative programming in the heart of the junction. And there is much still to come for the area, as Mbonu shared. 

“Looking ahead, I see a future where the community dictates the types of retail businesses they want in their commercial districts. Through more efficient communication methods with real estate interests and crowdfunding opportunities, they would be able to invest in and support the businesses, as they would have a financial and personal stake in the creation of sustainable business environments,” said Mbonu. “This is an exciting prospect which I look forward to facilitating over the years to come.” 

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Andrea Leonhardt

“Made in Germany,” Andrea Leonhardt is the managing editor for BK Reader. Andrea holds a bachelor’s degree in political science, with minors in American studies and education, and a master’s...

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  1. BIDs are superfluous to businesses, and not a few BIDs represent legal extortion because stores are forced to pay the BID and have no control over what the BID does. Mr. Mbonu’s comments are odd in that what he describes a community determining what stores it wants is just the free marketplace. Duh. Successful stores operate where ther’s a demand for them. BIDs are parasites on the those stores. The owners do the work, pay the fees and taxes and the BIDs fleece from the owners. We all need stores. No one needs a BID except con men (bureaucrats, politicians.)

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