The Real Deal New York

Soho BID gets green light amid community opposition

October 18, 2013 01:25PM

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From left: Margaret Chin and Green Street in Soho

From left: Margaret Chin and Green Street in Soho

City Council has approved the controversial Soho Business Improvement District after a three-year delay and despite widespread community opposition.

Area residents and small businesses have long fought against the implementation of a BID in Soho, saying the booming area doesn’t need the designation and that they are ill-equipped to afford an additional tax.

The tax levied to fund the BID’s efforts to clean litter will fall upon businesses in the form of rent increases, a release from neighborhood group the Soho Alliance alleged, pointing the finger at City Council member Margaret Chin, working with a BID steering committee led by Newmark & Co., as the approval’s chief backer.

“It appears that Chin couldn’t wait to pass her pet project soon enough after her election, so she took precious time off her campaign to ensure that the BID would be approved immediately after her primary victory, despite dawdling on it for three years,” Sean Sweeney, director of the Soho Alliance, said in the release. “Clearly she wanted passage of the BID but cynically sat on it until after she was re-elected, fearing the BID’s passage would hurt her at the polls.”

Chin’s approval of the BID, Sweeney said, is an act of vengeance for Soho’s lack of enthusiasm for her at the polls.

State Assembly member Deborah Glick and State Senator Daniel Squadron, meanwhile, did not support the BID. — Julie Strickland

  • Sad in Soho

    I’m dressing in black today. Chin, who doesn’t represent my neighborhood, has contributed to it’s death. It’s a sad day when politicians pander to their contributors. I hope Newmark & Co. will continue to support her when the rest of the public gets tired of her shady ways.

  • Eric McClure

    Is Sean Sweeney the only person who lives in Soho? Because he’s the only person ever quoted by media when they need a (typically angry) Soho resident.

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