NEW YORK — Spiffing up the garment district, physically and visually, is the top aim of the Fashion Center Business Improvement District in the months ahead, according to executive director Barbara Randall, who spoke at the group’s 10th annual meeting Tuesday night.
“As we prepare to become a gateway to the city’s new Hudson Yards development, we’re giving great care to this next phase of improvements, knowing that the visual impact of our district will play a more important role than ever,” she said, referring to the proposed development near the Jacob K. Javits Center on Manhattan’s West Side.
About 70 people attended the meeting. The ratio of real estate executives to fashion executives favored the former, most likely since it’s their taxes that create the FCBID’s budget.
As the FCBID ends the first year with an annual budget of $4 million in June — its highest ever — new initiatives like a unified signage program will be implemented over the summer to visually organize the neighborhood. Currently, parking and directional street signs are erected haphazardly by the city’s Department of Transportation. Other changes along these lines set to happen over the summer include the addition of central newspaper vending units that will eliminate the jumbled plastic boxes that line many of the corners.
In September, after a three-year absence, the anti-graffiti, steam-cleaning and street furniture maintenance programs were reinstalled and public safety patrols extended until 7 p.m. on weeknights. Weekend safety patrols also were added, helping to reduce crime in the neighborhood to an all-time low, according to Randall.
The FCBID also was audited last year by the City Council Department of Finance, which deemed it compliant with city regulations.
The meeting was held at Culinaria, one of the district’s newer restaurants, on West 40th Street.