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Greenway Business Improvement District (BID) Filed at Boston City Council

A Better City has filed a petition with the Boston City Council to organize the Greenway Business Improvement District (BID). The Greenway BID is designed to generate $1.5 million each year to support the maintenance, horticulture costs, and future enhancements of the Greenway. BID money will be managed by the Greenway Conservancy.

Funds would be raised by a tax assessment, made available via state law, on abutting businesses to fund the Rose Kennedy Greenway’s maintenance and operations. The approval process requires at least 51% of assessed valuation of all real property within the proposed BID and at least 60% of property owners. The BID application included supportive signatures from 89% and 82%, respectively.

There are 61 owners representing 50 buildings in the Greenway BID area. Properties must be directly abutting the Greenway and greater than $10 million in assessed value. Residential properties owned by the tenant (condos) are excluded. Properties planned for future development, particularly on parcels of land made available as a result of the Central Artery Tunnel Project, are included inside the BID boundary.

The Greenway BID would operate for 5 years, which is the maximum time allowed by state law. Before the five years expire (in 2023), property owners in the BID district can vote to renew the BID an additional five years.

The BID would be the second in Boston after the Downtown Crossing and requires City Council approval. A hearing is expected to be scheduled in the near future. More information on the Greenway BID can be found at the A Better City website.

One Reply to “Greenway Business Improvement District (BID) Filed at Boston City Council

  1. Boston citizens need to learn much more about Business Improvement Districts (BID) before supporting one, such as the one proposed along the Rose Kennedy Greenway. BIDs may make lots of sense for blighted or failing areas, like Downtown Crossing (was). My understanding is that they are not about philanthropy. They are a different approach to taxing and managing business districts, whereby certain governmental authority is transferred to the BID and, therefore, the businesses enrolled in it. Certainly there will be benefits, including a new funding source for the Greenway Conservancy to augment their revenue (but likely not reduce the greater than $2 million annual state contribution for 15 acres of parkland). What authority and control will the BID have over the area? What are the boundaries of the area? Will the BID coverage be limited to the Rose Kennedy Greenway, or will it encompass larger areas along the corridor, such as public streets and sidewalks? What will be the makeup of the BID administration, including full-time paid directors and staff? These are a few of the questions I have in light of the Greenway proposal, but also because BIDs have been suggested for other business corridors, such as Hanover Street.

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