Jun. 30, 2023 By Anthony Medina
In the return of the first in-person annual meeting since the start of the pandemic, The Myrtle Avenue Business Improvement District (BID) shared details about a $536,541 budget for multiple projects along the avenue in the greater Ridgewood area starting next month.
Members of the Myrtle Avenue BID met inside the Ridgewood Savings Bank on 71-02 Forest Ave, in Ridgewood, at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 28, to discuss their budget for the year and updates on the Ridgewood Towers project before giving time for invited guests to speak.
Ted Renz, executive director of Myrtle Ave BID, detailed the budget for the fiscal year, noting that there is $160,380 allocated to sanitation efforts, $100,775 to support sales promotions and events and $201,736 for administration purposes.
Renz also read off a $52,859 budget for the holiday light displays later in the year, $15,000 for avenue beautification, $3,800 for public safety initiatives and $2,000 for streetscape improvements.
“Our BID assessment is $507,000. That has not changed since 2015. Looking ahead, we will probably most likely look for an increase in the future.” said Renz. “Because the prices go up, everything goes up. Nothing that I know goes down.
Herman Hochberg, chair of the BID, first welcomed board members and invited guests, including Deputy Inspector Kevin Coleman, commanding officer of the 104th Precinct, and Nicole Garcia, Queens borough commissioner for the city’s Department of Transportation.
Coleman briefed the room on the latest crime stats for the precinct and again warned residents to practice vigilance when walking in their neighborhoods. He also pointed to an increase in grand larceny auto (36%) and grand larceny-related crimes (7%), but a decrease in shooting incidents (71%) and burglaries (35%) year-to-date.
He also shared information pertaining to the search for a man who robbed The Children’s Place store, at 57-37 Myrtle Ave., on Monday, June 26. Police said the man threatened to hurt a 20-year-old employee, which is why Coleman insisted on telling business owners to call 911 instead of confronting a perpetrator.
“Many of these people that are stealing may have a knife, they could have a gun, they could have some other weapon, and we don’t want you approaching because they’re not going to listen to you, they’re not going to say ‘oh, here’s your items back.’ They’re either going to assault you or push you out of the way and try and get out of there. So rather than engage, we want you to be safe.” Coleman said.
Queens Borough Commissioner Garcia updated attendees on key infrastructure improvements coming to the greater Ridgewood area, such as four-way stop signs and updated street lights. She also mentioned the installation of Citi Bike stations in Ridgewood and bordering neighborhoods — overall acknowledging greater access to bike lanes as a benefit throughout the borough.
In regard to the Ridgewood Towers project development, at 3-50 St. Nicholas Ave, in Ridgewood, the Myrtle Ave BID said a Target and Burlington retail store is confirmed for the 2nd and 3rd floors of the structure. The Burlington will open sometime in September and the Target is set to open shortly after, executive director Renz said.
The Myrtle Avenue BID encourages the public to check its website year-round for upcoming events and more.