The Park Slope 5th Avenue Business Improvement District held its first meeting of the year yesterday morning at Pinot’s Palette (382 Fifth Avenue between 5th and 6th Streets).
Among the usual order of business, Mark Caserta, BID’s Executive Director, announced that Park Slope’s A Taste of 5th will be held April 4th at Grand Prospect Hall (263 Prospect Avenue between 5th and 6th Avenues). 41 businesses have already signed up to be part of this popular annual event that showcases 5th Avenue restaurants, bars, and food establishments who serve up samples of their fare to visitors. Tickets will go on sale after Valentine’s Day.
Among other upcoming events and initiatives, Caserta announced that BID has been trying to raise funds for a year-round expansion of its Shop Small Initiative that promotes business for local stores. Shopping days would be planned for less popular months (March, July, August…) to encourage the community to get out and shop locally along 5th Avenue.
BID has also enlisted the services of a BCID (Brooklyn Center for Independence) inspector who is an expert on the Americans with Disabilities Act, to conduct pro bono inspections of 5th Avenue businesses to ensure that they are compliant with laws and requirements. SkyIce (63 5th Avenue) recently received a summons from the lawyer of a disabled plaintiff stating that the restaurant was in violation of the Act (i.e. the ramp out front was a half inch off the required height). The owner of SkyIce told the group that this is a common form of “legal extortion” that can cost victims thousands of dollars and has been reported on 60 Minutes. SkyIce settled with the plaintiff. The inspections will help alert local business owners to what they need to do to protect themselves from a similar situation.
BID received a $2,500 grant from Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams last year which they used to install security cameras at Good Wine (between 3rd and 4th Streets), SkyIce (on the corner of St. Marks Place), and Lulu’s for Baby (between Bergen and Dean Streets). The cameras will be shared and help prevent and/or document any crimes committed within view on the street. Additional cameras will be installed outside other storefronts soon.
Josh Levin, Director of Business Development for the Office of the Brooklyn Borough President announced that this year’s Dine In Brooklyn will take place March 20th to 30th. Like New York Restaurant Week, participating Brooklyn restaurants will offer special prix fixe brunch, lunch, and dinner menus.
Caserta also noted that the vacancy rate of businesses along 5th Avenue dropped to 6.54% in January 2017, which is a slight decrease from October 2016 when it was at 6.92%. He added reassuringly that several businesses will be opening up soon.