At its annual meeting on February 26, 2014, the Sunnyside Shines Business Improvement District launched a new initiative to improve the Sunnyside commercial district: a grant program to help businesses replace their solid metal gates with open grille gates. The meeting featured an address from Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, who outlined a bold vision for the re-branding of Queens, board member elections and also honored three awardees in the district:
- The Neighborhood Wow Award presented to I Love Paraguay, for their storefront re-design
- The Partnerships Award, presented to Sunnyside’s Boulevard Bars, for their partnerships in the community
- The Shines Award, presented to Sunnyside Shines Office Manager and local resident Janet Hohenstein for her dedication to Sunnyside
Gate Replacement Program:
The Sunnyside Shines gate replacement program will help businesses reduce the cost of upgrading to open-grille gates. During this year’s pilot program, up to five businesses within the Sunnyside Shines BID will be eligible to recoup half of the expense of their new gate, up to $1,000.
In 2009, the New York City Council voted to phase out solid gates completely by 2026 and require that businesses install gates that are at least 70% transparent. Though existing solid gates will remain legal until 2026, new gates must comply with the new regulations. There are a number of other reasons business owners might want to upgrade: open-grille gates help to reduce graffiti, keep window displays visible to catch shoppers’ eyes during closed hours, and contribute to a safer feeling neighborhood. Sunnyside Shines will be accepting applications for its gate replacement program through April 15, 2014.
Applications are available here: http://www.sunnysideshines.org/programs/new-gate-replacement-grants-busi...
Rachel Thieme, executive director of Sunnyside Shines, said: “We hope to really make a difference in the look and feel of the district by helping businesses replace their solid metal security gates with open grille gates this year. If this pilot program goes well, we will certainly look into helping more businesses next year.”