Durst, Tishman Speyer lukewarm on Sixth Avenue BID plan

July 11, 2013 05:30PM

Major Midtown property owners are less than enthusiastic about a business improvement district along Sixth Avenue, contending it would be superfluous along an area often referred to as “corporate row,” Crain’s reported.

The Durst Organization, Tishman Speyer and others have lodged complaints about the plan, casting doubt on the BID being advanced by Daniel Biederman. Biederman, who won acclaim for organizing and managing a nonprofit that transformed Bryant Park into one of the city’s premiere corporate and public amenities, has also run BIDs in the area around Grand Central Terminal and Chelsea.

“The conversations remind me of the beginning of my career,” Biederman, undaunted by the chilly response, told Crain’s. “People would say ‘we don’t need this’, or ‘the city ought to do this.’ There is some feeling that the Avenue of the Americas is somehow not in need of a BID but leasing is tough out there and I think there is a big benefit to be had.”

The BID aims to raise $4.3 million a year by adding a 13 cent surcharge per square foot on a projected 33 million square feet of office space in the neighborhood. A loan against that income stream would enable the BID to raise nearly $17 million in capital to make improvements such as plantings, signage and sanitation, and help plan and manage special events aimed at boosting the area’s profile.

But landlords have complained that Sixth Avenue is already clean, well-maintained and organized thanks to property owners such as Fisher Brothers, Rockefeller Development Group and RXR Realty. [Crain’s]Julie Strickland