BY JON CRONIN
At last week’s Queens Borough Board meeting the board unanimously voted to create a JFK Industrial Business Improvement District that would advocate for the air cargo and service related businesses around Rockaway Boulevard and JFK Airport.
Barbara Cohen, a consultant for the IBID planning committee, said the initiative which began in 2012, will create an IBID that represents a significant job creater in the area that she estimates provides 8,000 jobs for Queens.
“It is completely unique,” Cohen said, adding that the 526 properties surrounding the airport are often “overlooked and misunderstood.”
She noted that not many outside of the industry know how it operates. “No one knows how the cheese in Italy gets to your corner deli.”
The NYC Department of Small Business Services is in charge of all BID formations in the city, though she notes that this industrial area is unlike any other neighborhood in the city. She pointed out that the off airport cargo companies are on private property not under control of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, though they do have a stake in the IBID.
She said the community of industrial companies will generate the $500,000 annual budget for the IBID as well as develop programs, advocacy, and job networking.
The Greater JFK IBID Planning Committee is represented by over 25 members consisting of commercial property owners and tenants, resident property owners and tenants, neighborhood association leaders, representatives from Queens Community Board 12 and 13, and government representatives at all levels.
Cohen said JFKIBID.org has everything anyone would want to know. She believes after two years of planning “They’ve found their voice.” Cohen added that they had just a meeting with the City Department Of Planning, now they that they have approval by the borough board they will move on to the City Council then the mayor, “We’re right on schedule.”
According to the IBID’s website their purview is, “to support the off-airport air cargo and services district by providing technical and professional services, supplemental services and improvements, and effective advocacy and administration for all district members,” and, “to enhance the quality of life and the recognition of the diverse experiences of all who work, visit and live within and adjacent to the district, and to encourage members of the district to be ‘good neighbors,’ striking a reasonable balance between industrial, commercial, and residential interests.”
Reach Reporter Jon Cronin at (718) 357-7400 x125, email@example.com or @JonathanSCronin