2017-06-29 / Other News

Minding The Stores

By D. Rybstein

The Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce (BCC) works to promote business opportunities for its members and to advance commerce throughout the borough. It is Brooklyn’s leading economic development organization.

On Monday, BCC Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Rick Russo, Special Advisor to the President and CEO Camille Socci and Director of Neighborhood Business Outreach Luc Saint-Preux dropped in on Canarsie businesses and not-for-profit leaders to share their ideas for business development focusing on the Avenue L business district between Rockaway Parkway and Remsen Avenue.

The meeting took place at Chase Bank, located at Rockaway Parkway and Avenue L. On hand from the local community were Councilman Alan Maisel, James Archibald, president of the U.S. / Caribbean and Asian Development Organization; Laura Joseph, executive director of Bhrags Home Health Care, and Debbie Tiamfook, president of World Strong Communities.

Of course, the redevelopment of the old Canarsie Theater, formerly located at 9310 Avenue L, was front and foremost in Russo’s discussion on revitalization of the once-prosperous business strip. While Joseph expressed an interest in relocating Bhrags’ 700 employees to the theater’s prime location on Avenue L and East 93rd Street, Tiamfook stated that theater owner, Jaira Brandy, has been difficult to pin down for a discussion on the sale of his property.

Tiamfook lamented the “look” and underuse of Cablevision’s parking lot at East 96th Street and Avenue L. Attendees pointed out that its private ownership precluded any public usage for desperately needed parking on the avenue.

Maisel was willing to allocate some city council funds for trash receptacles and wanted to see more Department of Sanitation collections, while Archibald expressed interest in holiday lighting being put up this year. The problem of storefronts maintaining sidewalk planters came up with attendees agreeing that small business owners eventually lose interest in maintaining them.

The idea of establishing an Avenue L Business Improvement District (BID) popped up to be explored once property owners along Avenue L can be identified. Discussions favoring the diversion of existing bus routes were tabled.

BCC is the largest and fastest-growing Chamber of Commerce in New York State. The Chamber was founded in 1918 and serves as an advocate for its member businesses.

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