March Issue

Words from the President 

 20 years of accomplishments -- moments in history


Public Space, Special Events, and Programs -- History Moment


In 1996, the BID launched the 125th Street Harlem Summer Oasis. The project created the conditions for more events and programs to take place on 125th Street.  Through active coordination to ensure that the events were geared to the target markets, and through working with existing businesses so that they were able to take advantage of the pedestrian traffic generated by the event, Oasis evolved into a signature project for the Harlem Community. 

It is not always necessary for the BID to manage and run these major events. We can also encourage more events to take place and provide assistance to event planners in terms of liaising with the City, property owners, businesses, and other organizations.
The results of Oasis: The space has become a gathering place for residents and visitors and more and more events are now taking place on the Plaza.  

Project Evolution

1996 to 2000


The southwest quadrant of the Harlem State Office Building was a locked fenced in area with large flower pots. The weeds had become trees. The District had very little open space and the BID saw this as the perfect place for people to sit, have lunch, and enjoy some entertainment. A collaborative effort was formed with the West Harlem Environment Action Group, Inc. to create an outdoor park. Flower pots were cleaned and new flowers planted; umbrella seating was provided and re-cycling trash receptacles were placed on the plaza. It was called the 125th Street OASIS.  


It opened Summer of 1996. BID promoted and produces the summer jazz series, business networking events and activities, non-profit activities for local shoppers and residents. The project was later joined by the Adam Clayton Powell Jr. State Office Building Health and Safety Committee to produced and promoted a Wednesday Summertime Jazz/Lunch program.



2001 - 2005


In 2001 new development plans claimed public space being used by the 125th Street Oasis and when the project was completed the Oasis became H&M. The BID put up a great argument for public space and even though it was not able to secure the southwest quadrant to continue public programming, the State recognized the importance of both projects and granted the BID the approval to erect a stage in front of the State Building during the summer months and hold events, performances, and business events. The was a welcomed plus and attracted a larger audience and opened up the activity on the plaza.   BID change the name from 125th Street Oasis to Harlem Summerstage and brought on partners : New York City Housing Authority and the Apollo Theater. This brought entertainment from our local youth as well as national performers. The BID successfully created the conditions for more events and programs to take place and today events and activities have continued and are produced the New York State Office of General Services.    


The Business Beat
NYC Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) 
New initiatives and winter updates: 

In December, DCA launched its business outreach campaign, "Good for Customers, Great for Businesses", featuring the City's first-ever Live Chat, an online opportunity exclusively for businesses which enables them to easily ask questions during business hours without taking time away from their customers.
In addition, to further assist businesses achieve compliance with the City's laws and rules and avoid fines, DCA has posted online its inspection checklists. DCA's newly expanded and comprehensive Business Toolbox and updated guide, "Ten Things Every Business Should Know" are worth a visit. Please contact me if you would like large quantities of our guide, which is helpful for consumers are well.

Please read an Important Message from the Commissioner on Post-Storm Information including how to contact DCA.


Get important tax information for individuals and families affected by Hurricane Sandy.


Get important information about the pedicab registration plate lottery.


Read recent Rule changes affecting tow, home improvement, and pedicab industries.


Roll-down Security Gates: Visibility Standards


Cigarette Retail Dealers: Read state law requiring new signs


DCA's Community Relations staff is available to speak, present, and participate at community meetings and events on a variety of retail business related and consumer protection topics.



Ricky Wong

Director of Community Relations

NYC Department of Consumer Affairs

42 Broadway 8th Floor

New York, NY 10004


212- 487-4282 (Fax)

The Street Beat
The GAP Factory Store 

On Friday, February 21st the long awaited GAP Factory Store opened it's doors on 125th Street!

With clothing apparel for men, women and children, this new retail store is bringing in a variety of customers.

For more information on the store, click HERE
Be sure to VISIT!


125th Street is pleased to announce that the addition of BLINK FITNESS to the district, set to open May 2013!

In 2013, we're looking forward to a  #HealthyHarlem


Social Stars 
Apollo Theater

This month's 125th Street BID's Social Star is  



The Apollo Theater is active on Facebook (16,250+ 'Likes'), Twitter (15,900+ Followers),  Google+, LinkedIn and Pinterest. 




Go To: Website 







"12 Unexpected Social Media Tips"  

(American Express, OPEN FORUM)


Merchant Organizing
As you may know, the 125th Street BID has recently received an Avenue NYC grant from the NYC Department of Small Business Services for Merchant Organizing on 125th Street (Morningside Avenue to Marginal Street). The goal of the Avenue NYC program is to "create the conditions under which businesses thrive and residents enjoy access to a vibrant mix of goods and services."




We have recently, developed a commercial tenants survey that is set for distribution in early March; began updating BID Map & Guide to 

reflect changes in existing BID and include area west of Morningside on 125th Street to Twelfth Avenue; created a development plan to add a "Merchant Organizing" section for our website; and finally, met with Amalgamated Bank branch manager, who is very interested in how businesses in that area can become a part of what is going on in the central part of 125th Street.  






 Jennifer Silverberg

Project Manager of the Merchant Organizing Initiative 


125th Street BID
Weekly Pedestrian Count



125th Street & Frederick Douglass Boulevard


February 25th-March 3rd   


total visitors this week

the % change in visitor numbers from previous week 


total visitors this year


Friday had the highest customer count at 12,885 for the Week beginning 25-FEB-2013, which was 129 more than any other day during that Week. The day with the greatest increase in its customer count from the previous Week was Friday (6,743).




In This Issue
Moments in History
NYC Department of Consumer Affairs
Street Beat
NEW: Social Stars on 125th
Merchant Organizing
Pedestrian Counter
BID in the News
Public Safety and Sanitation
 Harlem Happenings!
Listen to this!




A reformed burglar speaks out and dispels some common security practices we always thought kept our home safer - Please take a moment to read them and see if you are a part of the myth!


Myth #1: Posting detailed alarm signs


By posting a sign stating which alarm you have, you're giving the burglar all the information needed to bypass that specific system. A better move is to post a general warning sign that the home has an alarm.


Myth #2: Leaving lights on


A light that stays on all the time is no more of a deterrent than a dark house. Use timers that turn lights on and off in different parts of the house at different intervals to give the appearance to anyone watching that there is someone home.


Myth #3: Hiding valuables in the bedroom


It's the first place burglars look - store rarely-used valuables in a safe-deposit box. In the home, be creative with your hiding spots and don't hide everything in one place.


Myth #4: Installing alarms (but not using them!)


Even if you're just running out for coffee, set your alarm. Career burglars will stake out your home to learn your habits before ever acting. Make it a habit - some newer alarms can even be armed remotely from your smartphone, so there is no excuse!


Myth #5: Hiding windows with landscaping


Tall bushes and shrubs can allow burglars to jimmy windows without being seen.


Myth #6: Having newspaper and mail delivery stopped


The more activity burglars see, the less likely they are to target your house. While you're away, it's better to ask friends or neighbors to gather your mail. If you can't do this, then stop the mail - don't let it pile up, as that is another sure sign no one is home.


Myth #8: Counting on chain locks


They're virtually useless...Secure every exterior door with deadbolts - and use them!







125th Street
in the News  

In Case you missed it! 
BID in the News   

Click HERE for more !
Working with our CORE Programs

End of Month Report




Focus of the month: Cleaning of the tree pits, stainless steel benches and receptacles; continuance of graffiti removal; and washing down and sanitizing of street corners.       



Incidents Handled


Illegal Dumping on 125th:

A total of 8 incidents occurred during the month of February. BID Sanitation Team removed
33 large black bags, 20 large cardboard boxes, 12 wooden display carts/panels, 2 office chairs, and 6 fluorescent light bulbs.

Street Conditions reported to 311:

Abandoned green cart G-1271/ Expired 2013, (3) pot holes inside of the cross walk, Two abandoned green fruit carts on the sidewalk,   Improper disposal of trash, and a clogged catch basin

Illegal Postings:

Removed a total of 95 illegally posted flyers on street furniture in February.

Public Safety
A total of 5 incidents throughout the month of February:   Ill pedestrian due to intoxication needing assistance, domestic dispute, attempted robbery, verbal altercation, and selling of untaxed cigarettes.


Governor Cuomo Announces $285,000 in Funding for Third Year of Freshconnect Farmers' Market Program 

Funds to Support Farmers' Market, Youth Market, and Food Box Projects to Bring More New York State Farm Products to Underserved Communities

Albany, NY (March 4, 2013)

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced $285,000 in available funding for the third year of the Governor's "FreshConnect" program, which brings fresh food from New York farms to underserved communities throughout the state. The FreshConnect program assists New York farmers by increasing the sale of locally-grown food products while improving nutrition and promoting economic development around the state through projects like youth markets, delivery of products to low-income housing facilities, and new initiatives at traditional farmers' markets.

 Continue Letter Here 

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Any questions or comments?
Ymani Belcher 

125th Street Business Improvement District | 360 West 125th Street, Suite #11 | 
New York, NY 10027
(212) 662-8999