2009 MetLife Awards: Myrtle Avenue Revitalization Project

Author(s)
Local Initiatives Support Corporation
 
Date
2009
 
Source
 
Abstract
Myrtle Avenue Revitalization Project LDC (MARP) grew out of a widespread neighborhood and borough-wide consensus that the revitalization of Myrtle Avenue needed to become a priority. Based on this desire to restore Myrtle Avenue to its former economic strength, a group of diverse individuals representing neighborhood organizations, educational institutions, Myrtle Avenue businesses, banking institutions, elected officials, and residents formed a non-profit local development corporation that understood public safety was a key indicator of improved quality of life. At the time MARP was incorporated, Myrtle Avenue was often referred to as "Murder Avenue" because of its long-standing reputation for violence, theft, vandalism and other crime. MARP took on the two-fold challenge of reversing the avenue's negative image and culture of disinvestment, while also building its own credibility among local stakeholders - a challenge in light of prior failed attempts by other groups to spark Myrtle's redevelopment. In order to bring down crime and attract private investment back to the commercial corridor, MARP worked closely with the NYPD to develop and implement programs for business attraction and retention, facade improvement, cultural events production, marketing and local tourism initiatives. MARP also managed Myrtle Avenue's Business Improvement District, which provides supplementary sanitation, graffiti removal, marketing and beautification services. The partners focused on creating physical spaces that were well maintained and welcoming, and on developing open communication and stronger relationships efforts between the NYPD precinct and local merchants.
 
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