The Real Deal New York

Soho BID fight comes ahead of Council hearing

January 30, 2012 09:30AM

The fight over the creation of a business improvement district in Soho comes to a head in March, when City Council conducts a public hearing on the controversial subject.

According to the New York Times, the proposal to create a BID along Broadway between Houston and Canal streets is drawing so much opposition from Soho residents because they don’t want to be assessed for an organization they fear will encourage more of the negative effects tourism has had on their neighborhood.

Longtime residents who moved in before Soho’s gentrification lament the improvement of the area because the big retailers were followed by swarms of tourists and sidewalk vendors that crowd the streets and foster an unmanageable trash situation.

But supporters of the BID say that the organization could help address those problems by working with sidewalk vendors and arranging for better waste management. Moreover, a revised proposal slimmed the BID’s prospective budget to $550,000, which could prevent it from investing in the holiday lights and signs that would bring in still more tourists. [NYT]