Brooklyn Waterfront Group Looking to Update Neighborhood's Image

By Heather Holland on September 5, 2012 3:03pm 

BROOKLYN — It's not just gantries and warehouses anymore.

The Columbia Waterfront Coalition is holding an art contest to come up with the best symbol for the commercial corridor along Columbia Street in order to draw attention to the isolated nabe.

Winning entries will be featured on banners and street signage that are expected to arrive along the stretch, once the coalition gathers the funds, said Vilma Heramia, executive director of the Carroll Gardens Association, which spearheaded the forming of the working group.

The winning artwork will also be used on promotional items like mugs and t-shirts, which will be sold in local stores and help fund for the cost of banners and signage.

“There are a lot of local businesses that are closing up shop or are not benefitting from new developments, like Brooklyn Bridge Park,” said Heramia. “Brooklyn Bridge Park receives nearly 6,000 visitors each day and our local businesses should be benefitting from that.”

The contest is designed to promote the neighborhood, which is cut off from the rest of the borough by the BQE, boost its businesses and increase foot traffic, said Heramia.

The banners and signage will be placed along Columbia Street, from Atlantic Avenue to Hamilton Street, and on Union Street, between Van Brunt and Hicks streets.

Winners of the contest, which runs through Oct. 15, will receive cash prizes, and a percentage of profits from any promotional materials sold. Participants are free to submit up to three entries, with any of the following themes in mind: the missing historic Columbia Street Clock, Gantries, and maritime images.

The Columbia Waterfront Coalition, which formed last month, is made up of several community organizations including the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative and the Columbia Waterfront District Merchants Association.

“The commercial corridor has not kept up with the residential development in the neighborhood,” said Heramia. We need residents to shop and we need visitors to come to our local restaurants and have dinner. We want the neighborhood to have its own unique identity.”

For more information on how to submit an entry, visit www.carrollgardensassociation.com.

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