PROGRESS REPORT: Things are going great on Eighth St.

BY WILLIAM KELLEY | The past year has been one of celebration and capacity building at the Village Alliance. Over the past 12 months we marked the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Greenwich Village Historic District, as well as the Stonewall Uprising, which initiated the modern L.G.B.T.Q.-rights movement.

Throughout these momentous occasions, our hard-working street teams have been dedicated to the small details that improve quality of life for everyone in the neighborhood — be it sweeping up sidewalk debris, removing graffiti, clearing snow from street corners, caring for greenery or tracking antisocial behavior.

William Kelley, the executive director of the Village Alliance BID. (Courtesy Village Alliance)

To improve service delivery in these areas, the Village Alliance has now digitized our street conditions and maintenance reporting, ensuring that the beautiful and historic Greenwich Village streetscape and welcoming spirit of the neighborhood shine through.

Beyond quality of life improvements, the Village Alliance also advocates for and promotes local businesses that contribute to our neighborhood fabric. We firmly believe our small businesses are a prime reason that Greenwich Village remains a desirable place to live and visit, and we work tirelessly on their behalf.

This past year we launched a mobile app for our popular Village Access Card program, unlocking merchant incentives for a new group of neighbors who prefer to use mobile devices for their shopping and dining experiences. The mobile app is a critical tool to drive additional foot traffic to Village businesses and will allow merchants to more efficiently build relationships with their customers. Find out more at www.villageaccesscard.com .

As core services and marketing initiatives define our role in the neighborhood, the Village Alliance also produces and hosts events aimed at bringing the community together. Whether it is a networking event, a fundraiser, a lecture or art program, we strive to showcase local businesses, creative talent and academic institutions for both a local audience and the world beyond.

Events like the annual Positively 8th St. draw foot traffic to Eighth St. and showcase the areas merchants. (Courtesy Village Alliance)

Our popular street festivals and performing-arts showcases continue to draw a diverse mix of residents and visitors to the neighborhood who flock to perennial favorites like the Positively 8th Street Festival, Creativity Cubed and Astor Blaster events. And our new partnership with Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater brought new creative energy to Make Music New York, Friday Night Cabaret and Astor Alive! performances.

Over the past quarter-century, the Village Alliance has been a major force in cleaning up our streets, beautifying public spaces and promoting the best the Village has to offer. Looking ahead to the next few months, we are exploring the possibility of a seasonal market at Astor Place, as we continue to engage in new ways to activate what was once merely a transitory space and now delights the community with a variety of free programs for all ages.

We hope to see you out on Eighth St., in Astor Place and throughout the district supporting our local businesses, attending events and in general enjoying the Village’s magnificent quality of life.

Kelley is executive director, Village Alliance business improvement district.

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