Section I: District Background and Review of Fiscal Year 2013 Activities

A. Neighborhood Needs Assessment

       This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Fifth Avenue BID and we are extremely proud of the progress we have made over these last two decades!  From the start of this journey, we have tightly focused on our two major programs: security and sanitation.

       
Since the district was established in 1993, our work with the New York City Police Department has contributed to a most dramatic drop in street crime as described in the Security section of this report.  

       The recent "Great Recession" has had minimal impact on Fifth Avenue; vacancies remain low while property values and rents remain high.  By these measures, the Fifth Avenue BID has continued to make progress over these twenty years.  For example, the General Motors building on Fifth Avenue at 58th Street sold for
1.4 billion dollars in 2003; ten years later $3.4 billion!  And in an article entitled "Fifth Avenue's Eye-Popping Rents" the New York Times affirmed: "The cost of retail real estate and store rents is hitting a record high along New York's Fifth Avenue, a sign that the high-end market remains strong despite the weakness of the broader economy." (NYT, Nov. 20, 2012)
 

B. Review of Accomplishments
 
SECURITY
 
       When the Fifth Avenue BID plan was conceived twenty years ago, we had very visible signs  of poor security practices within this district.  There were 3 Card Monte frauds operating without  interference; there were pick pocket teams so obviously working the area that Tiffany & Co. produced a video showing
their modus operandi; and there were illegal street peddlers selling counterfeit merchandise openly just outside the stores selling those legal products.
 
       A walk down the Avenue today presents a vastly different atmosphere than the beginning of the 1990s: the 3 Card Monte games are gone, the pick pocket teams have mostly dried up and the sale of counterfeit merchandise has greatly diminished.
 
       This is not to say that there are no security issues within the district.  The relatively new problem of aggressive CD peddlers who intimidate pedestrians to “buy” their products, is an example of a current criminal activity that we must monitor and address.  In April of 2012 there was a robbery by a CD peddler that not only illustrates this issue but also perfectly depicts how we work with local police to curtail these incidents.
 
       A group of Asian tourists approached one of our security officers in front of 677 Fifth Avenue and informed him that one of them had just been robbed by a group of three CD peddlers near 53rd Street.  After taking a description and notifying our dispatcher our security officer spotted a Midtown North police car, flagged it down and they proceeded to the location of the robbery.  Our security
officer spotted one of the robbers hiding behind a food vendor and assisted the police officers with the arrest.
 
       This kind of cooperative enforcement become a deterrent when the word spreads among the street people; illegal CD peddling dropped sharply over the next few months.
 
       The following chart of the seven major crimes tracked by the Federal Government is a snapshot of the progress made during the last eighteen years.
 
FBI MAJOR CRIME INDEX
    5TH BID DISTRICT
         1993-2012
  1993 2012  
Felonious Assaults
 24  2  
Burglary  15  0  
Grand Larceny
 712  44  
Auto Theft
 2  0  
Robery  40  3  
Rape  0  0  
Murder
    0 
Totals  793  49 -94.8%
   
       In addition, we assisted over 243,000 visitors to our district and logged 41,352 man hours.
      
SANITATION
 
       Our BID also provides a high level of supplemental sanitation services.   In FY12, we logged 14,144 man hours of Clean Team projects.   As with our security team, this was a slight decrease in our overall hours but there was no appreciable change in our level of service.  Most of this work centered around the daily routine of keeping the district clean and of free of overflowing trash receptacles.  For the year we stuffed 101,250 trash bags, removed 392 graffiti tags and, working with our contractor, provided 572 supplemental truck runs beyond the Sanitation Department's normal
pickups.
 
 
             Fiscal Year 2013
         Income and Expenses

 INCOME:  
Assessments
$2,904,990
Interest
        2,188
Total Income
$2,907,178


EXPENSES:

Sanitation
$  690,827
Security
  1,609,996
Holiday Trees
      29,396
Admin Payroll
     255,505
Admin Rent
      22,709
Admin Insurance
       8,840
Audit Fee
      11,253
Fringe Benefits
    132,526
General Office Expenses
      23,203
Equipment & Supplies
          943
Travel & Conferences
        9,752
Dues & Subscriptions
       12,273
Depreciation
         8,315
Total Expenses
$2,815,538
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