The Alliance for Coney Island Completes Its BID Formation Initiatives Benefiting the Mermaid Avenue and Amusement District Streetscapes

As part of Mayor Eric Adams’s commitment to invest in underserved commercial corridors, the Alliance for Coney Island was selected as a grant recipient of the FY 23 Business Improvement District (BID) Formation Grant Program administered by New York City Small Business Services (SBS) for the staffing, planning, and implementation of its current BID formation effort.

The purpose of this one-time funding opportunity is to advance the equitable economic recovery of
small businesses throughout New York City and support efforts to form Business Improvement Districts
(BIDs) within our city’s historically underserved communities.

“The Alliance for Coney Island is pleased to have been selected as a grantee for the SBS BID Formation
initiative. The formation of a Business Improvement District in Coney Island will build upon and
formalize the Alliance’s commitment to revitalize and empower the community, focusing on its main
commercial corridors as it continues its recovery from the economic impacts Superstorm Sandy and the COVID-19 pandemic. A Coney Island BID will take on the role of merchant organizing, building and
maintaining healthy relationships with property owners, tenants and residents; it will manage basic but
vital supplemental services to those of the city, such as sanitation and public safety. And it will provide
the marketing and public programming support that a commercial corridor needs in order to thrive,”
says Daniel Murphy, Executive Director, Alliance for Coney Island.

The funding permitted the Alliance to pursue several initiatives that were based on its pre-pandemic BID exploration and the Community District Needs Assessment that had been conducted in 2017 and
demonstrate the types of services that a Coney Island BID could provide. (1) Supplemental Sanitation for both Mermaid Avenue and the Amusement District was able to begin 6 weeks earlier than in previous years, and (2) the Alliance was able to include a power washing component as well. (3) A beautification project was conducted where 257 tree pits along both corridors were cleaned, mulched and (4) had a branded Coney Island for Everyone Do Not Litter sign installed, in addition to 22 planters that received new trees, plants and mulch. Additionally, (5) LED exterior lighting with a photocell is presently being installed at 71 locations primarily along the Mermaid Avenue corridor, with a few along Surf Avenue, helping to brighten the sidewalks from dusk to dawn addressing safety concerns raised by residents and merchants alike.

Each of these initiatives improve the quality of life for the community and have positive impacts on the
Coney Island economy. The Alliance’s objective for undertaking these initiatives was to create an
attractive streetscape that is both aesthetically appealing and will encourage pedestrian-oriented
interactions, enhance business foot traffic and support community activities. A Coney Island BID, funded through a special assessment that is collected from the properties within the designated boundaries of the commercial corridors in Coney Island, would provide a sustainable mechanism for these activities to continue year after year, and thus drive economic development. A BID would invest significant funding back into Mermaid Avenue and the Amusement District, and will assume responsibilities generally expected of merchants, maintaining the cleanliness and appeal of our commercial districts.

About the Author

New York Trend is a weekly news publication that focuses on issues and lifestyles of the African & Caribbean American communities throughout the New York metropolitan area and Nassau and Suffolk Counties of Long Island. It is a respected and well recognized news publication that has been in existence since 1989. Owner, Publisher and Executive Director, Dr. Teresa Taylor Williams has been at the helm of this award-winning publication since its inception. New York Trend continues to be the only black woman-owned, metropolitan newspaper in New York and Long island. New York Trend is the largest black-owned newspaper throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties.