2017 Annual Report

Overview

 

The 165th Street Mall Improvement Association is a Special Assessment District (SAD) established in 1978 by the State of New York. This SAD provides supplemental services to the 165th Street Mall to attract shoppers, improve quality of life and increase the profile of the District. The 165th Street Mall is located on 165th Street between Jamaica Avenue and 89th Avenue in the heart of downtown Jamaica.

 

Review of Fiscal Year 2017 Activities

 

The Association expanded the quality of programs rendered the 165th Street Mall in Fiscal Year 2017. In addition to providing the district with traditional supplemental services, management was able to:    

 

·         Receive an approval from the New York City Council for a $50,000 Assessment Increase in Fiscal Year 2017.

·         Award a discretionary grant from Councilman Rory Lancemen for promotional activity in the district.

·         Repair all mal-functioning street lights.

·         Team with the Neighborhood Community Officers on reducing crime and rectifying quality of life issues on the Mall.

·         Install new Department of Sanitation Wayfinding signs.

·         Increase the holiday lighting presence.

·         Introduce new promotional activities.

·         Maintain the number of Sidewalk Sale Days at twenty-one (21)

·         Create new business directories.

·         Revise the Jamaica Task Force which conducted several “Inter-Agency Marches” in downtown Jamaica.

·         Participate in the Department of Consumer Affairs Business Education Days (BED) with Councilman Daneek Miller.

·         Distribute the logo designed “165th Street Mall” shopping bags.

·         Submit the 2016 financial statement and annual report to New York City’s Small Business Services (SBS) efficiently and timely.

·         Continue to improve to the overall quality of life in the district including; reduction in crime and the decrease in disruptive after school activity.

 

In addition, management maintained a strong relationship with the 103rd Police Precinct, Fire Department, Community Board 12, community groups and local merchants. The district continues to host events that have brought these groups together in an effort to build a better, more efficient business environment.

 

Assessment Increase

 

The 165th Street Mall is requested an assessment increase of $50,000 for Fiscal Year 2017. The proposed increase comes nearly three years after the organization received an assessment increase of $31,276. The increase, which was approved in October 2016, is allocated towards the increase in insurance cost, the desire to increase the Association’s advertising and promotion’s budget and to reestablish the organizations reserve fund.

 

Grant 

 

The Association received a $5,000 grant in Discretionary Funding from Coucilman Rory Lancemen. The grant will be allocated towards family oriented promotional events on the 165th Street Mall.

 

Neighborhood Community Officers Program

 

The Neighborhood Community Officers (NCO) Program was implemented in Fiscal Year 2017 by the Commissioner of the New York Police Department (NYPD) to focus on having experienced police officers assigned to patrol specific communities. There are four (4) officers currently assigned to the downtown business district. Since the new program has been implemented there has been a 26% decrease in major crime in the area.

 

Management has worked closely with the NYPD and the NCO program on several quality of life issues. The 165th Street Mall is in close contact with the officers assigned to the district on a daily bases.  

 

Jamaica Task Force 

 

The Jamaica Task Force, which was established to address the quality of life issues affecting the downtown Jamaica shopping district, was reinstated this year. The task force brings several city agencies together to discuss strategies on how to address issues including illegal vendors, noise violations, building violations and homelessness. This interagency committee includes the 103rd Police Precinct, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Sanitation, the Department of Environmental Protection, the Department of Consumer Affairs and the Department of Buildings.

 

In the Spring of 2017, the task force conducted “Inter-Agency Marches” which involves several agencies walking around together and issuing summons to businesses who are not complying with the law. The Jamaica Task Force will continue to meet throughout the Summer.

 

Wayfinding Program 

 

The 165th Street Mall participated in the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) newly created Wayfinding Program. The program is part of DOT’s Walk NYC program which utilizes sign systems to help orientate, navigate and give directions to pedestrians. A Wayfinding kiosk was erected at the entrance of the Mall off of Jamaica Avenue.

 

 

 

 

Holiday Lighting

 

The holiday lighting program added several new fixtures and were installed earlier in the season than in past years. The increased illumination and added signage at the entrance of the Mall created a festive atmosphere.

 

Street Lighting Project

 

The District’s Street Lighting project was completed in Fiscal Year 2012. The existing lights were removed and twenty-nine (29) new lights were installed. The new lights create greater illumination through the utilization of 175 watts metal halide bulbs. These bulbs emit a white light which covers a wider territory. The luminaires also function on a sensor, which is more efficient and reliable than the previous fixtures. The street lighting project was completely financed by the Street Light Division of the Department of Transportation. All the street lights are currently working.

 

Promotions and Advertising

 

The Association sponsored an array of promotional events in Fiscal Year 2017. In addition, the district added two (2) new advertising campaigns to the roster; coupon booklets and a business directory.

 

By the end of the Fiscal Year, the Mall would have hosted twenty-one (21) Sidewalk Sales Days, five (5) annual events, two (2) general promotions and introduced one (1) new promotion. The following is a detailed list of this year’s promotions:

 

Sidewalk Sales Days

The Mall hosted Sidewalk Sales Days every month of the year with many months consisting of two sales promotions. The Sales Days are designed to attract customers by displaying merchandise in front of the stores in easy proximity to the customers. The Sidewalk Sales Days are very successful in attracting customers and increasing sales.

 

July 17, 2016

Petting Zoo

The 165th Street Mall hosted its first Petting Zoo. The Zoo featured several animals for children to pet, hold and take pictures. The family oriented event also featured a giant turtle which stole the show for children and adults.

 

August 6, 2016

Jamaica Arts and Music Festival

The 165th Street Mall participated in the 2016 Arts and Music Festival. This annual festival, which is the largest street festival in Queens, closed down the street along the 165th Street Mall and Jamaica Avenue. The District rented four (4) booths at the entrance of the Mall which allowed the festival goers easy access to the businesses on the 165th Street.

 

August 14, 2016

Back to School Fashion Show

The 165th Street Mall hosted its second Back to School Fashion Show. The fashion show, which was co-sponsored with Jamaica Center, featured young local designers and styles from participating stores on the 165th Street Mall. The event featured was also attended by special guest DJ’s from WBLS and HOT 97 radio stations.

 

August 20, 2016

Book Bag Giveaway

The 165th Street Mall co-sponsored the third annual book bag giveaway with the Worldstar Foundation. This year the event grew to include an array of products giveaways including over 1,000 book bags and numerous school supplies packages. Worldstar also raffled off three (3) Nook E-Readers.

 

October 16, 2016 and April 30, 2017

Kids Puppet Shows

The kid’s puppet shows featured two puppeteers showcasing over 30 different characters. During this two hour event there are also games, dancing, face painting and balloons.

 

October 30, 2016

Fall Pumpkin Art Party

The Fall Pumpkin Art Party featured over 100 pumpkins. Two professional instructors from the Art Studio of New York gave directions to adults and children alike on how to decorate their pumpkins with an array of art supplies including markers, glue, jewels, stickers and paint.

 

November 19-20, 2016

Annual Turkey Giveaway

The SAD raffled 100 free turkeys to participating customers on the Mall. 50 turkeys on Saturday and 50 turkeys on Sunday are distributed. The Turkey Giveaway is one of the Mall’s most anticipated, ongoing and successful promotions.

 

Shopping Bag Giveaway

The Mall distributed the custom designed “165th Street Mall” shopping bags to customers shopping during the Sidewalk Sales Days, Turkey Giveaway and charter buses that visit downtown Jamaica. The charter buses visit the area on Saturdays with out of town customers. This year the organization gave away over 4,000 bags.

 

Coupon Booklets

The organization distributed coupon booklets to potential customers in downtown Jamaica on weekends. The booklet features sales that participating stores on the 165th Street Mall allow shoppers in order to attract additional business. The average coupon is worth 10% off merchandise.

 

 

 

Business Directory

The district has created the organizations first business directory. The directory features a listing of all the businesses, their addresses and a map of the area. The directories will be distributed in Spring 2017.

 

Financial

 

The Association submitted the 2016 financial statement to the Department of Small Business Services (SBS) prior to December 31, 2016 deadline. The audit committee reviewed and approved the statement that was prepared by the organizations accounting firm; Skody, Scot and Company.

 

Collections

 

The SAD received the organization’s total assessment fee of $210,000 from the Department of Finance in addition to $1,800 from the 180th Street Business Improvement District. 

 

Public Outreach

 

The organization maintains a relationship with city agencies, community groups, local development corporations, local politicians, and members of the organization. The following are ways the organization preserves these relationships:

 

·         Management serves on the board of the Committee to Improve Perception (C-TIP). C-TIP is composed of business and community leaders committed to improving the perception of downtown Jamaica.

·         The SAD involves the merchants, community groups and city agencies in the Mall’s promotional events. This year the District focused on publicity and outreach of the promotions in order to reach and sustain a larger audience.

·         The Association scheduled periodic meetings with the 103rd Precinct and the merchants to discuss security concerns.

·         Management attends bi-annual borough wide meetings at Patrol Borough Queens South Police Headquarters. The administration also distributed security tips to all the businesses during Halloween and the holiday season.

 

 


Looking Ahead Fiscal Year 2018

 

In Fiscal Year 2018 the Board of Directors plans to provide the Mall with sanitation services, maintenance programs, promotional events and marketing campaigns. The approved assessment increase will allow the Association to address the rise in insurance cost without defunding its aggressive marketing strategy.

 

Destination Marketing Strategy

 

The Mall will continue to fund the comprehensive marketing strategy to attract additional shoppers and businesses to the area. In addition, to the programs that are already a part of the strategy, the district will distribute store coupons and a comprehensive business directory.

 

Bus Shopping Tours Marketing

 

The Association will increase its marketing outreach to bus companies who frequent the Mall from other parts of the country. The Bus tours bring perspective patrons from as far away as Delaware, Maryland and North Carolina to the District to shop. This is a service which greatly enhances the economic vitality of the shopping district.

 

Street Lighting

 

With the completion of the Street Lighting Project, management will continue to work with the Department of Transportation (DOT) to ensure that the fixed lights and sensors remain working. 

 

Shopping Bags

 

Due to the success of the custom designed non-woven bags, The SAD will continue to distribute the “165th Street Mall” shopping bags during the Mall’s sponsored promotional events. The bags are also dispersed to the charter buses (See above).

 

Advertising and Promotion

 

The organization will continue its ongoing promotions including Sidewalk Sales Days, the Annual Turkey and Book Bag giveaways and various family oriented events. The following events are currently scheduled for the coming year:

 

Monthly (Various Dates)

Sidewalk Sales Days

Due to the success of this promotion, the Association is will continue sponsoring the sidewalk sales days.

 

 

 

Monthly (Various Dates)

Shopping Bag Giveaway

The Association will continue to use “165th Street Mall” shopping bags as a marketing tool. The high end bags will be distributed throughout the year at Mall sponsored events.

 

June, 2017

Petting Zoo

The Mall will host its second Petting Zoo in the district.

 

August, 2017

Jamaica Arts and Music Festival

Due to the popular response from the businesses, the Mall will participate in the 2017 Jamaica Arts and Music Festival. The all day event is the largest street festival in Queens.

 

Back to School Fashion Show

The Mall will co-host the third annual Back to School Fashion Show.

 

Book Bag/School Supplies Giveaway and Raffle

Co-sponsored with the Worldstar Foundation, this back to school promotion will giveaway book bags, school supplies packs, binders and raffle off three (3) Nook E-readers.

 

November, 2017

Annual Turkey Giveaway

The Mall raffles 100 free turkeys to participating customers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Budget Review – Fiscal Year 2017

 

Assessment:

·         The 165th Street Mall increased its assessment to $210,000.

 

Sanitation:

·         The largest deficit is expected in the Sanitation category ($1,620).

 

Maintenance:

·         The second largest deficit is in the Maintenance line ($1,033). This was the result of number of maintenance projects completed this year including the removal and trimming of trees.

 

Snow Removal:

·         No monies were spent in the Snow Removal line resulting in a $2,000 surplus.

 

Budget Surplus:

  • The surplus from Fiscal Year 2017’s expenses budget is expected to decrease by $12,175 which will reduce the total budget surplus to $20,023.

 

Administrative Agreement:

·         The SAD’s administrative contract with the 180th Street Business Improvement District adds $1,800 in revenue to the organization.

 

 

 

 

Budget Preview – Fiscal Year 2018

 

Assessment Increase:

·         The Association was approved a $50,000 assessment increase to cover the rising cost in insurance and to continue providing marketing and promotion services to the district.

·         In Fiscal Year 2018, the organization will collect an assessment of $230,000.

 

Sanitation:

·         The Sanitation line was increased to $52,500.

 

Advertising and Promotion:

·         In Fiscal Year 2018 the advertising and promotions line will remain at $25,000.

 

Insurance:

·         Due to escalations in Insurance cost the past two years, $44,796 was budgeted in this category to cover this expense.

 

Rent:

·         The rent category will increase to $8,327 to reflect the increase in rent and utilities.

 

Total Surplus:

·         The Total Surplus declines to $7,623.

 

Total Reserve

·         The Association reinstated a Total Reserve category. The increase in assessment allowed the organization to allocate $20,000 to this line item this year.

 

*Please note that the budget is subject to change.

 

 

 


Organizational Information

 

Staff

 

Executive Director:

Derek Irby

 

Board of Directors

 

Property Owners – Class A:

Aaron Schwartz (Franc-Men Realty Company), President

Thomas Logan (Partridge Realty), Vice President

Lawrence Kramer (89th Jamaica Realty Company), Treasurer

Kenneth Taishoff (89th Jamaica Realty Company), Secretary

Scott Zecher (BLDG Management Co., Inc.)

 

Commercial Tenants – Class B:

John Sanandagi (Kamos Corporation)

 

Governmental Officials – Class C:

Jennifer Kitson/Fred Leopold-Hooke, representative (Department of Small Business Services)

Shurn Anderson, representative (Office of the Queens Borough President)

Aliya Latif, representative (New York City Comptroller’s Office)

 

Audit Committee

 

Aaron Schwartz (Franc-Men Realty LLC)

Lawrence Kramer (89th Jamaica Realty Company LLC)

Jennifer Kitson representative (Department of Small Business Services)

 

Finance Committee

 

Kenneth Taishoff (89th Jamaica Realty Company LLC)

Thomas Logan (Partridge Realty)

Jennifer Kitson representative (Department of Small Business Services)

 

Executive Committee

 

Aaron Schwartz (Franc-Men Realty Company)

Thomas Logan (Partridge Realty)

Lawrence Kramer (89th Jamaica Realty Company)

Kenneth Taishoff (89th Jamaica Realty Company)

Scott Zecher (BLDG Management Co., Inc.)

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