ROCKLAND COUNTY, N.Y. -- A Monsey shopping center owner is asking Ramapo to allow the formation of a Business Improvement District, which would, he says, make the hamlet’s commercial center safer, cleaner and more attractive.
Joseph Brachfeld, owner of Town Square Center, said a “well-organized” BID would bring businesses together to make downtown Monsey a first-class experience for residents, drivers and shoppers.”
The 31-store shopping plaza and the Evergreen Market, have, he said, already brought a “dramatic upgrade to the Monsey/Spring Valley border.”
Brachfeld is proposing that business owners get together to pay for things such as trash collection, pedestrian safety and landscaping. The shopping center would be the biggest contributor, he said.
Brachfeld is also hoping to build a 600-unit housing development next to his Route 59 property, according to a report by lohud.com.
There are currently no such districts in Rockland -- Pearl River considered, but rejected forming one -- but in Westchester, across the river, there are three – in Yonkers, Peekskill and White Plains.
Through his attorney, Ryan Karben, the businessman has asked Ramapo to start the process of forming the district, but, to date, town officials have not responded.
The town would have to invoke Article 19A of the General Municipal Law to get the ball rolling, Karben said.
The process includes convening a meeting of potential members to discuss the boundaries, mission and budget of the BID.
“Downtown Monsey is a thriving residential and commercial community and a BID will bring sharper focus to the need for a fully ammenitized commercial district, potentially including litter patrol, first in class landscaping and improvements to pedestrian safety,” Karben’s letter to the town said.
The proposed district’s boundaries could run along both sides of Route 59 from the Ramapo/Spring Valley border on the east (Atrium Plaza) to Remsen Avenue on the west.
The BID could also extend north from the Route 59/Route 306 intersection to Maple Avenue, Karben said.
Michael Tauber, manager of the 15-store Monsey Mall on Route 59 said he thinks a BID “would strengthen and uplift” the downtown area.
He added he was looking forward “to participating in this exciting community endeavor."
Karben cited a study done by the Furman Center for Real Estate and Policy that found that, in general, BIDs do increase the “vitality and attractiveness of their communities."
But, the center also said its findings indicate that the overall effect of a BID depends on its size, location and “mix of properties.”