Jeffrey LeFrancois takes over Meatpacking BID

BY GABE HERMAN | The Meatpacking District BID announced on March 5 the appointment of Jeffrey LeFrancois as its new executive director.

LeFrancois was unanimously approved by the business improvement district’s board of directors. He has been with the organization since 2015, and was previously its director of operations and community affairs.

He succeeds Lauren Danziger, the BID’s first executive director, who is now the chief marketing officer for another up-and-coming district, Industry City, in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.

Jeffrey LeFrancois, photographed on the High Line, is high on the Meatpacking District. He was recently appointed the Meatpacking BID’s new executive director. (Photo by Kat Slootsky)

Before joining the BID, LeFrancois was chief of staff to Councilmember Corey Johnson during the time before Johnson became speaker. Prior to that, he was deputy chief of staff for Assemblymember Richard Gottfried.

LeFrancois takes over the Meatpacking BID as the district continues to see development and economic growth. Additions like the High Line elevated park and the new Whitney Museum of American Art are changing the face of the neighborhood.

“I feel like it’s a moment of discovery,” LeFrancois said of the area’s continued transformation.

He said he was excited to be taking the position at such a significant time for the Meatpacking District.

“The neighborhood and the West Side are very near and dear to my heart,” he said.

LeFrancois said he is looking forward to completion of the Ninth Ave. reconstruction project, which stretches from Gansevoort St. to W. 16th St. and is set to finish later this year. The project includes re-pavings, tree plantings and plaza reconstruction.

“That’s really exciting because it gives the neighborhood back to the community,” LeFrancois said.

The completed Ninth Ave. project will feature 20,000 square feet of public space for people in the area and for the BID to use in various ways. The BID will continue its summer Sweat Session free fitness classes every Tuesday in Sapokanikan Park at 15th St. and Tenth Ave., from May to September.

When asked about challenges, LeFrancois said every neighborhood these days is dealing with a shifting retail landscape, and that supporting companies that are there now or want to come in is a top priority. New openings this year will include a Dean & Deluca food market in the former Spice restaurant space, at 403 W. 13th St.; the second coming of Keith McNally’s trendy French restaurant Pastis, at 52 Gansevoort St., and an Hermes upscale clothing boutique, at 46-48 Gansevoort St.

The changing face of the Meatpacking District also includes the ongoing redevelopment of several key sites in Hudson River Park: Pier 57, at W. 15th St., which will feature a public park, public space and Google offices; the construction of the new Pier 55, at W. 14th St., featuring a public park and performance spaces; and the creation of a park at Gansevoort Peninsula, which will add more acres of public space at the edge of the neighborhood and which LeFrancois called “a really awesome thing.”

LeFrancois would like to see more ferry service to the West Side, an issue he has been outspoken about as a member of Community Board 4. The mayor’s recent announcement of expanded ferry service in the city included a station at Pier 79, near the Hudson Yards at W. 39th St.

“We do think the service fell short for the needs of the West Side, so we intend to continue advocating for public ferry service, to places like Pier 57,” he said. He would like to see several ferry stops along the West Side, to connect it with the rest of the city’s ferry network.

“Nothing happens overnight, and that’s O.K. because things tend to get better with age,” he said. “So while we didn’t get exactly what we were hoping for in that announcement, I think it is a positive step forward, that there is actually going to be service on the West Side.

“Public transit is good for everybody,” he added. “It’s good for people who live here, people who work here, and for economic development across the board.”


One Response to Jeffrey LeFrancois takes over Meatpacking BID

  1. nice we need another starbucks on 16th and 9th to go with the new starbucks reserve and starbucks across from each other!

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