Central Business District Advisory Committee
October 29, 2020
Committee Members in Attendance: Rob DeCalzo, Kathryn Schmidt, Jordan Kaufman, Councilwoman Pamela Perron, Chief Jacqueline Luthcke, Michael Pickholz, Anastasia Bamberg, Michael Velicu, Gary Kolesaire
Other members of the public: Joan Groome, Paul Vagianos, Stacy Tsapatsaris, Jeanne Johnson
Grab & Go: Cost of spots is $1500 for 6 months and may be sponsored by businesses, individuals, or other organizations. Payments are due by November 5.
Hudson Street Garage: Soft opening occurs on October 29 and then the ribbon-cutting on November 6 at 4:00. Anastasia Bamberg created a flyer to announce the opening. Members are asked to provide feedback.
Councilwoman Perron congratulated Michael Pickholz on his appointment to the Board of Adjustment.
“Welcome to Ridgewood” Marketing Package: The Village Council was not enthusiastic about the project to market the CBD to prospective CBD residents and declined to fund the project.
Pedestrian Mall in the Winter: No decision has been made yet about continuing the pedestrian mall during cold weather. Paul Vagianos will be speaking to the restaurants. There is currently a proposal in the governor’s office regarding outdoor heating regulations. This further underscores the importance of Grab and Go parking during the winter months.
The West Village is planning a holiday gift market to be set up in Wilsey Square similar to the market at Bryant Park.
Residents think the Village is sponsoring many of the current and ongoing initiatives (Pedestrian Mall, Grab and Go Spaces, West Village Octoberfest, 4th of July Celebration, Downtown for the Holidays, and more) but in fact these are all privately funded. There is some sentiment that it is best for government to “keep out” and that these projects work best when volunteers manage them. At the same time there is sentiment that the Village could help fund some of these initiatives. At the least the Village needs to champion its volunteers.
Business Improvement District (BID): There was considerable discussion about how and whether to proceed with a BID. It was agreed that the CBDAC would proceed with research. CBDAC members are asked to add to the list of BID pros and cons that have already been circulated. Among other ideas raised:
- Much has changed since the last time a BID was reviewed including the parking garage and high-density housing in the CBD.
- An anchor store in the CBD could be important./Are anchor stores important to the CBD?
- Anchor stores view BIDs as positive.
- BID may make it too expensive for landlords or businesses.
- Government may complicate things with a BID; might be better to rely on volunteerism.
- How do we raise funds without a BID?
- Need to create an inventory of the current state: what is currently done by who and how can a BID fill the gap?
- We need to create a “Landlord Community.”
- Perception that Ridgewood is a difficult community in which to do business.
- Are there any NJ “sister towns” that do not have a BID?
November 10, 2020
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