Push to Create Liberty Ave. BID Begins

Staff Writer

A local community leader is spearheading a project that hopes to give Liberty Avenue its own Business Improvement District.

Although other major corridors in Queens, like Jamaica Avenue in Woodhaven, Myrtle Avenue in Ridgewood and Sutphin Boulevard in Jamaica have their own Business Improvement Districts, the same cannot be said for Liberty Avenue, the major shopping district for Richmond Hill residents.

Vishnu Mahadeo, the president of the Richmond Hill Economic Development Corp., is looking to change that and is turning the wheels on getting the BID approved by the end of this year.

Business Improvement Districts often bring needed City-wide services to major business thoroughfares like more garbage pickup and to bring more foot traffic to the area.

According to Mahadeo, garbage bins along the corridor are often filled to the brim with trash and it is not picked up often enough, leading to an eyesore for residents shopping on the avenue.

“It’s a sick site,” he said, describing the piles of garbage that can be seen daily.

One of his goals for the BID is to advocate for more frequent sanitation service on Liberty.

He also hopes that establishing a BID will lead to different types of businesses on the avenue, an area that is already bustling with diversity.

The Ozone Park rezoning, which was passed by the City Council late last year and includes Richmond Hill, could allow other establishments to open in the area, expediting the need for a BID, Mahadeo said.

“That is one of the additional reasons to push for the BID,” he said.

The possible BID has already received the support of State Sen. James Sanders (D-South Ozone Park) and the Queens Economic Development Corp.

According to Mahadeo, they have identified the BID’s boundary, from Woodhaven Boulevard to the Van Wyck Expressway, and now they must hold a series of public meetings to identify the needs of the community that would be affected.

Other steps that must be completed include approval by the Community Boards it covers, the Dept. of City Planning and finally, the City Council.

Mahadeo said the goal is to have the BID approved by the end of 2014.

Reach Luis Gronda at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 127,, or @luisgronda.