The Bed-Stuy Gateway Streetscape Enhancement Project will transform Central Brooklyn’s anchor business destination into a more attractive urban space.
Construction work has begun on the future Marcy Plaza.
The Bed-Stuy Gateway Business Improvement District (BID) is the historic commercial heart of the Bedford-Stuyvesant community and contains over half a million square feet of mostly street-level retail space.
The Bedford-Stuyvesant Streetscape Project will refashion the District into a more attractive urban space and remove the impediments that are preventing the corridor from reaching its economic potential as Central Brooklyn’s anchor business destination.
This project has been planned in coordination with the Mayor’s Office of Comprehensive Neighborhood Economic Development (CNED). Formed in the Fall of 2005, CNED has united the City’s economic development agencies around a shared goal of building and revitalizing the residential and business communities of Bedford-Stuyvesant.
CNED is leading efforts to increase resident self-sufficiency and improve commercial markets to meet local retail needs. Critical to this effort is the enhancement of physical conditions along the Bed-Stuy Gateway Business Improvement District.
The project has been largely influenced by the 2002 Fulton FIRST planning initiative, which concluded that while the Bed-Stuy business district has high population density, a central location and excellent public transit access, its unattractive streetscape conditions play a major role in keeping it from thriving.
However, the fortunes of the adjacent Bed-Stuy Gateway BID residential blocks have improved in recent years, and community pressure for a safer, more useful and more attractive Bed-Stuy Business Improvement District has grown stronger.
The Bed-Stuy Gateway Streetscape Enhancement Project supports the creation of an attractive, safe and pedestrian-friendly commercial district along the one-mile stretch along Fulton Street from Bedford Avenue to Troy Avenue.
The project aims to increase consumer traffic and support the attraction of new and diverse businesses to the neighborhood. The project also seeks to increase pedestrian, bicycle and transit use, and provide business owners with space to live, work, and shop.
The project has been made possible with capital investments from the New York City Office of Management and Budget, the Office of the Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz and the Office of Councilman Albert Vann.
In the fall of 2005, the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Economic Development and Rebuilding and NYCEDC conducted a research and planning study that sought to determine the viability of a multi-agency government approach to local economic development.
The initiative, later named Comprehensive Neighborhood Economic Development (CNED), aimed to unite economic development agencies to collectively build local capacity of neighborhood organizations while promoting workforce, asset, and business development programming in New York City’s under-served and low-income communities.
Bedford Stuyvesant's alarmingly high number of residents living below the poverty line and commercial market falling short of its residents' needs made the neighborhood an ideal first focus for CNED.
This combination of indicators led to a fundamental question: could City and community programs, working in unison, make a meaningful and measurable impact on community revitalization?
To answer this question, CNED began a comprehensive two-year planning process and developed an ambitious investment plan involving public and private programs tied directly to identified community needs.
CNED's investment plan has been implemented in collaboration with the Coalition for the Improvement of Bedford Stuyvesant (CIBS), which is a member association comprised of nearly two-dozen local nonprofit organizations, representing a unique neighborhood-wide coalition of local organizations with a focus on community and economic development. The unique partnership between CIBS and CNED has helped to focus both organizations' efforts and has maximized neighborhood impact.