North Broad Bid FAQs

/North Broad Bid FAQs
North Broad Bid FAQs2019-06-10T18:58:27-04:00

North Broad Area BID Frequently Asked Questions

On May 8, 2019, the North Broad Renaissance (NBR) held the first meeting to explore the creation of a Business Improvement District (BID) to serve North Broad Street. From that group of attendees, a Steering Committee was formed to begin organizing and sharing information with other North Broad property owners.

As the BID Plan develops there will be a series of meetings. Although the BID will focus directly on North Broad and only include North Broad commercial property owners, it is important that the entire community is engaged and a part of the visioning.

As a result, the planning team will host a community meeting that will take place on July 11, 2019 at the School District of Philadelphia (440 North Broad Street) from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. During this time, the community will be able to come throughout the day to learn more, get additional information and provide feedback on important visioning component of the proposed Business Improvement District.

A final meeting will be announced when the BID ordinance is introduced.

In addition, the Steering Committee will also continue to meet regularly, please see below for upcoming meetings, presentations and minutes, as well as other opportunities to learn more about the BID.

A Business Improvement District (BID) is a formal entity that allows property and business owners to come together to make a collective contribution to the improvement of their commercial district.

BIDs are modeled after common area maintenance (CAM) fees in shopping malls. In addition to their rent, mall tenants pay an extra fee to maintain and beautify the public areas in the malls and provide things like “free” parking, security, lighting, and marketing for the mall as a whole.

Each BID creates a plan to address its specific areas of concern, but generally a BID is formed to create a cleaner, safer, and more attractive business district; ensure a steady and reliable source of funding for supplemental services and programs, which they can often leverage for additional funds; be able to respond quickly to the changing needs of the business community; build potential to increase property values, improve sales, and decrease the number of vacant properties; and help the district to compete with nearby retail and business centers.

BIDs deliver a range of services over-and-above normal City services and invest in the long-term economic development of their districts. BID services include public space maintenance and greening (sidewalk litter removal, planter maintenance), public safety enhancements (security cameras, supplemental police coverage), business attraction and assistance, marketing and promotions (special events, district branding and advertising), capital improvements (lighting, directional signs, street furniture), and visitor assistance.

Funds for BID programs and services are generated from a special assessment paid by the benefited property owners directly to the organization that manages the BID’s activities. (Note: many leases have a clause that allows property owners to pass the BID assessment on to their tenants.) Because they are authorized by the City of Philadelphia, the assessment levied by the BID becomes a legal obligation of the property owner and failure to pay can result in the filing of a lien. The North Broad BID Steering Committee has already determined that owner-occupied single-family homes and condos WILL NOT PAY an assessment. Please see below for more information regarding assessments.

A BID assessment is a fee that each property owner pays to support BID operations. The BID allocates the cost of its services by having each property pay their proportionate share of the budget, which can be determined by an objective standard such as the property’s share of the total assessed market real estate value of the entire district. BIDs can supplement their budgets from other sources such as grants, sponsorship income, or other income-producing activities. Some BIDs in Philadelphia do not impose an assessment on residential properties, or only assess income-producing or multi-unit residential properties, and the NBR would use this model ensuring that owner-occupied single-family homes and condos would NOT PAY.

There are currently 14 BIDs in Philadelphia. The first BID was Center City District, which was created in 1990. Other BIDs in operation are Aramingo Shopping District, Chestnut Hill District, City Avenue District, East Passyunk Avenue BID, Germantown Special Services District, Manayunk Special Services District, Mayfair BID, Mount Airy BID, Northern Liberties BID, Roxborough District, Old City District, Port Richmond Industrial Development Enterprise, and South Street/Headhouse District.

No. When BIDs are authorized, the City enters into an agreement with the BID and commits to maintain the level of services that would be provided if there were no BID in place.

BIDs are democratic in that the same people who benefit from what BIDs offer are the ones who plan, manage, and finance the BID. Each BID is independently governed by a Board of Directors comprising of property owners, business people, and other individuals, as spelled out within the bylaws that govern the BID organization. The North Broad BID is currently organizing the structure and is committed to inclusive representation.

Forming a BID requires widespread support among property owners and commercial tenants who are fully informed about the proposed program. To create a BID, a core group of property owners and business people will need to invest substantial time and effort to develop the BID plan and persuade their peers to support the BID.

In Philadelphia, the Community and Economic Improvement Act now governs the process for creating BIDs. Under that act, BIDs are authorized by City Council and subject to a public process that includes at least two public hearings and notification of all property owners and tenants within the district. The two hearings are followed by a 45-day objection period. If more than 1/3 of property owners within the district who would be subject to the assessment (either by number or by the value of their property) oppose creation of a BID by writing to the Chief Clerk of City Council, the effort is defeated.

On May 8, 2019, the North Broad Renaissance (NBR) held the first meeting to explore the creation of a Business Improvement District (BID) to serve North Broad Street. From that group of attendees, a Steering Committee was formed to begin organizing and sharing information with other North Broad property owners. In addition, the group discussed the BID Study Area, which is along North Broad Street from Spring Garden Street to Indiana Avenue.

The proposed North Broad BID is still in the information gathering stage. Community meetings and steering meetings will take place regularly, where the organization will solicit ideas and input from local businesses, property owners, residents, etc. Please refer to the meeting section for upcoming meetings and meeting minutes.

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