Effort to improve Fordham Rd. shopping

(08/12/03) THE BRONX - The Fordham Road shopping district is the third largest in New York City, and now there's a growing movement to make the area even more competitive with suburban malls and Manhattan stores.

More than 25,000 shoppers come to Fordham Road daily, but unlike other shopping areas it is not a Business Improvement District (BID). A BID is a not-for-profit corporation funded by merchants and property owners who work together to improve the shopping area.

David Rose, who owns several buildings on Fordham Road, says the idea of forming a BID helps businesses get additional services such as graffiti removal, sanitation and security. Those in favor of forming a BID say it also gives owners more clout so they have a better chance of making improvements.

The Bronx Council for Economic Development has been pushing to make Fordham Road a BID for years, but says the past city administration made the process difficult. The council says the current administration is more open.

In order for Fordham to become a BID, 51 percent of the property owners and merchants would have to agree to go forward. Then state and local officials would have to approve the area to become a BID.

The Fordham Business District Steering Committee hopes to start the BID application process in November.

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