It was a celebration of Sunset.
The Sunset Park Business Improvement District (BID) held its 22nd Annual Meeting on Thursday, June 29 to honor several contributors to the neighborhood and mark BID accomplishments over the past year as well as discuss the future.
Held at the Young Dancers in Repertory Studio, 5602 Fifth Avenue, the meeting counted members of the BID, officers from the 72nd Precinct, business and resident owners in attendance.
“My family has been on the avenue since 1984 so we got to see the inception of the BID,” said Llamil Nunez, current president of the BID. “I’ve seen the changes that the BID has accomplished over the years. It’s great to be a part of it.”
“The BID is very active,” added Executive Director Renee Giordano. “Every month, we try to have some kind of an event or project. A lot of what we do, we manage to get through in our budget, and we try to get grants or people volunteering time in between.”
Giordano mentioned the BID’s social media initiatives, including a smart phone app that notifies customers of local discounts and news, a new website that lists all businesses, a new logo and the utilization of live streaming.
“Facebook Live has been very effective as we don’t just go to our events, but also to different businesses and do a tour, and talk with the owner and they give a history and explain what they do,” she said.
Looking forward, the BID is hoping to upgrade its free wifi service provided on the avenue. “The way I found out it was successful is when it started failing, I got emails and phone calls,” Giordano said. “Many people in the neighborhood didn’t have access to wifi and kids would do their homework using ours. We’ve had it for five years and our equipment has reached the end of its life. We’re going to put in new equipment over the next month or two.”
Giordano also discussed two campaigns started at the BID, one featuring the ‘You are Beautiful’ signs that are scattered around the avenue and the other, ‘Hate Has No Business Here’ signs. “We are trying show people we are a very diverse group and our businesses and residents are very diverse,” she said. “We don’t want any hate going on in the avenue. It’s a campaign that 20 other BIDs will be doing with us.”
Awards were given to BID volunteers, businesses, property owners and police officers.
“I’ve been at this precinct a little over 14 years,” said Police Officer Gerber Fernandez of the 72nd Precinct Community Affairs team, who received a Friend of the BID award. “I want to thank everyone for acknowledging what we do. We have our work cut out for us. It’s pretty busy in Sunset Park but we have good teamwork with Renee.”
“I’ve been in the 72nd Precinct for 16 years and I’ve spent my whole career here,” said Police Officer Sean Spencer of Community Affairs, who also won a Friend of the BID award. “Sunset Park is all about a hard-working, diverse community. I look forward to working with Renee more in the future.”
The Business of the Year award went to Q-Spot, 5405 Fifth Avenue, which sells clothing and accessories.
The Valdes family, including Delvis, who is running for the 39th Council District seat, took home the Property of the Year award.
“I appreciate it very much as our family has been involved in Sunset Park for the better part of 40 years on Fifth Avenue,” he said. “We were here in 1974 during the tough times and now supposedly during some of the good times.”