LOWER EAST SIDE — The executive director of the Lower East Side Business Improvement District is stepping down after four years of leading the local organization.
Bob Zuckerman's last day will be Oct. 4, when the BID's current deputy executive director Tim Laughlin will take over. Zuckerman declined to reveal where he is headed next.
The announcement of Zuckerman's departure came a week after city officials announced the long-awaited developer and designs for the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area, marking a major milestone for the neighborhood and a highlight of Zuckerman's tenure.
One of Zuckerman's focuses over the past four years has been building daytime foot traffic on the Lower East Side. He advocated for 250,000 square feet of office space to be included in the Seward Park development, to bring more office workers to the neighborhood, which he called a "game changer" in an interview on Wednesday.
"I think we have made great strides in increasing daytime foot traffic and that was the mission that was given to me," said Zuckerman, who has not done a quantitative study but said neighborhood retailers have observed an increase. "We have been advocating for [office space in SPURA] from the very beginning."
Also under Zuckerman, the BID created the Daylife event series, a Sunday fair on Orchard Street that occurs several times a year to showcase local businesses. The events drew thousands of people to the neighborhood with live music, food stalls and street games, the BID said.
Laughlin, who previously worked as a community liaison for Councilman Dan Garodnick before joining the BID, praised Zuckerman on Wednesday.
"During his tenure, he brought an amazing staff together that has played an active role in creating positive change within this dynamic neighborhood," Laughlin said.