The Wynwood Arts District is currently entering the BID formation process. As part of this process, we will be entering an exciting new period in our urban development evolution. As a Business Improvement District, Wynwood will be able to develop its urban infrastructure and explore services that will ensure a safer and more pedestrian-friendly experience.
ArtPlace spoke with Jose Nava-Lujambio, Executive Administrator for the Wynwood Arts District Association, about the BID Formation Process and some of the challenges they’ve faced so far.
ART PLACE: What has been the thorniest issue you’ve faced to date? How have you dealt with it?
JOSE: I think there have been numerous challenges throughout the process, and we’re still not even close to being done. Our first priority has been has been to establish continuous communications and engagement between the various stakeholders involved in this initiative and with us. It was important to identify the various stakeholders in the community (both property-owners and their tenant occupiers) in order for everyone to begin communicating with each other. Our solution to this thorny issue was to create an extensive database which lists the property owners and their tenants. This provides us with a clear idea of who we need to address for the success of this initiative.
At the end of the day, what is important is that the stakeholder body establishes a direction of where they want to take this initiative and what the priorities of this project are. Whether it is the improvement of the security and cleanliness in our community, the streetscape, the development of pedestrian- and cyclist-infrastructure, the stakeholders will have to choose what the focus of the project will be, and how to allocate the funds once the BID is implemented.
The way that we have dealt with establishing this communication has been by reaching out to the body of stakeholders one-on-one, meeting with them, explaining and discussing the project, hearing their concerns, and working together with them in order to establish the most efficient and creative solutions.
In the area of education, David Collins (Wynwood BID Project Director) has been tremendously engaged and has been incredibly efficient in educating the stakeholders by hosting regular weekly meeting with the stakeholder body, circulating copies of the Grove BID Business Plan between the Members of the Steering Committee, circulating several books that explain more comprehensively the process of Business Improvement Districts, and getting ready to begin creating a Wynwood BID Business Plan.