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Business Improvement District Proposed for Chelsea and Meatpacking District

By Mathew Katz | January 31, 2014 9:00am
 The Chelsea Triangle is one of the public squares that would be run and maintained by the new BID.
The Chelsea Triangle is one of the public squares that would be run and maintained by the new BID.
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DNAinfo/Mathew Katz

CHELSEA — Commercial property owners in the Meatpacking District and Chelsea may soon have to pay a fee to help fund a proposed $1.6 million-a-year business improvement district in the area.

The new BID, which still requires city approval, would merge the Meatpacking District Improvement Association and the Chelsea Improvement Company to provide sanitation, beautification and public safety services the area.

The proposed BID would run from Horatio Street to West 17th Street, from Eighth Avenue to the Hudson River. Under the proposal, commercial property owners would be charged 21.5 cents per square foot per year, while residential property owners would pay a symbolic $1 per year.

While both organizations already provide services like free Wi-Fi and trash removal, as well as help maintain public space in the area, the proposal argues that a unified BID would help support those efforts throughout the neighborhood.

"The formation of a Meatpacking Area BID, encompassing the physical geography of both MPIA and CIC, will streamline these efforts and enhance and expand the services and programs provided to the whole district," the groups wrote on a website for the proposed BID. "Furthermore, the proposed BID will establish a district that is unified under a single identity and mission, supporting a vision for a stronger business district and mixed-use neighborhood."

Both the Meatpacking District and southwest Chelsea have quickly grown into tourist and technology destinations, with the High Line, Chelsea Market and Google's billion-dollar offices all drawing visitors to the area. The upcoming expansion of Chelsea Market and opening of the Whitney Museum, along with Twitter's upcoming move to Chelsea, will only bring more to the neighborhood.

The BID would be governed by a board of directors, made up of commercial property owners and tenants, public officials,and residents. 

Organizers will hold two public meetings to hear community input on the proposal — one was held Thursday night at the Fulton Center Auditorium and a second was scheduled for Feb. 3 at Our Lady of Pompeii Church. 

The BID will eventually need approval from the City Council and mayor before going into effect.