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
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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