Rockland County, NY – The owner of Monsey’s largest commercial shopping center has submitted a formal request to the Town of Ramapo to begin the process of creating a Business Improvement District in the area’s most heavily trafficked shopping area which runs from Spring Valley into Monsey.
The proposed BID is the brainchild of Joseph Brachfeld, owner of the Town Square shopping center which includes Evergreen, Amazing Savings and 29 other stores. Brachfeld also hopes to build a development on the adjacent 23 acre Park and Ride property that would include 600 housing units, a project that would require a zoning change from the town as reported by the Journal News.
A letter sent by Brachfeld’s lawyer, Ryan Karben, to Ramapo Supervisor Chris St. Lawrence said that the BID was intended to “promote beauty, cleanliness and safety in the hamlet’s commercial district.”
“Commercial property owners pool their resources to provide amenities in the BID,” Karben told VIN News, noting that trash collection, pedestrian safety, landscaping and advertising could all be enhanced through the BID.
Karben said that BIDs have been used effectively in suburban communities for more than 25 years, citing successful BIDs in Peekskill and Cedarhurst.
The proposed BID could extend from the Atrium Plaza westward through Remsen Avenue and also from the intersection of Routes 59 and 306 north to Maple Avenue. Karben said that the costs of the BID would be borne by the business owners, with the largest share covered by Town Square, the largest shopping strip in the area.
While pedestrian safety has long been an issue for shoppers on Route 59, traffic in the area has become increasingly congested as the Monsey community has grown. Both Route 59 and Route 306 feature just one lane in each direction in the proposed BID area, but Karben noted that the BID would give commercial property owners an unprecedented opportunity to discuss improvements to the area and would not generate traffic.
“There is no mechanism to bring those people together to plan, look for improvements and strategize about the future of what is a vital, thriving and heavily utilized commercial corridor,” said Karben. “The idea is to facilitate those conversations.”
Karben asked St. Lawrence and members of the Ramapo Town Council to begin the process of forming a BID which would include holding a meeting of possible BID members to consider the budget, boundaries and mission of the BID.