The main proponents are a group of powerful global and national real estate interests.
Fifteen of the original 22 members of the SoHo BID Steering Committee are real estate brokers and property holders from companies including Newmark Knight Frank Global Real Estate Advisors, Thor Equities, Vornado Realty Trust, Olmstead Properties and Aurora Capital. Only five are retail business owners.
None of those original real estate industry proponents of the SoHo BID live in SoHo.
This contradicts the very idea of a BID as outlined by New York City Small Business Services in its Introduction to Business Improvement Districts:
“BIDS are grass-roots, community-driven organizations …”
According to the City, a BID will be established:
“… only after a substantial level of support from stakeholders in the district has been documented.”
We’ve surveyed the neighborhood and are finding that there is very little actual support for the BID, either from residents or businesses. Yet the real estate interests behind the BID are laying claim to SoHo, and they will make locals PAY so they can have their way.