Burnside Avenue merchants seek BID

TREMONT - Merchants along Burnside Avenue in Tremont are hoping to attract more customers by making their neighborhood a business improvement district.

Ubaldo Santos, who owns Easy Vision Tours and Travel, is trying to convince fellow merchants to pay the extra taxes needed to make their commercial strip a BID, which would offer services like street cleaning and graffiti removal.

?If you bring more people here because it?s safer [and] cleaner, it will be a trade-off,? says Santos.

Community leaders think cleaner streets might also attract more chain stores, something they welcome.

?We want to cut down on 99 cents stores and bring in reputable businesses,? says Angel Caballero, of the Davidson Community Center.

Supporters of the BID say the area is already busy due to its proximity to the subway and the upcoming construction of new projects like the Morris Heights Health Center. A BID, they say, will help them cash in even more on the street traffic.

Santos says that they tried to become a BID 10 years ago, but weren?t successful. According to Santos, that was partly because then-Mayor Rudy Giuliani wasn?t too receptive to BID proposals. Under Mayor Michael Bloomberg, though, several BIDs have been created in the Bronx and Santos is hopeful that, with an organized merchant association, a Burnside Avenue BID will become a reality.

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