BID re-established for five more years

The Business Improvement District (BID) of Coral Gables has been re-established for five more years by a majority of its property owners.

Sixty-seven percent of BID property owners petitioned the City of Coral Gables to retain the special assessment district and renew the organization’s charter, which expires every five years due to a sunset provision. The Coral Gables City Commission will make it official at its next meeting on Aug. 28. Established 15 years ago, the BID is responsible for marketing and advocacy for Downtown Coral Gables and Miracle Mile by supporting downtown business owners and property owners.

The BID is bounded by Douglas Road to LeJeune Road (east to west), Giralda to Andalusia Avenues (north to south), and includes Coral Gables’ main street, Miracle Mile. The BID has supported the generation of millions in retail and dining sales by producing innovative events, including Coral Gables Restaurant Week and Wine Walk & Shop on the Mile. In addition, its award-winning marketing and advertising programs for the “Miracle Mile and Downtown Coral Gables” brand have resulted in millions of dollars in earned media exposure putting Downtown Coral Gables on the map as a major tourist and local destination.

“Through our marketing and advocacy initiatives, the BID has had much success within the last five years, such as the stabilization of occupied merchant spaces during a marked decline in our general economy, a successful centralized valet parking system, augmented holiday lighting decorations, and award-winning cooperative advertising programs and events,” said Mari Gallet, executive director of the Coral Gables BID.

Most importantly, the BID has garnered increased awareness for 300-plus Downtown Coral Gables businesses through 24/7 social media and Web programs.

“As a small business on Miracle Mile, I have the highest praise for all the work the BID does for us,” said Alicia Balmelli, owner of Twinkle Twinkle, 40 Miracle Mile. “[They] are exceptional at their jobs and are always available to assist us whenever their input, assistance, or initiative is needed to help our business. They have been beyond helpful to my business.”

The BID’s board of directors has established major goals for the organization, including the support of a major streetscape project that will modernize the district even more.

“The BID has spearheaded the Downtown Coral Gables and Miracle Mile Streetscape project, and now looks forward to continuing to support our members through that process, and also lead a Downtown Overlay Study in partnership with the University of Miami that will further establish Downtown Coral Gables as the finest destination in South Florida,” said Burton Hersh, president of the BID and chair of the Streetscape Advisory Committee and the Downtown Overlay Study committee.

Other notable business districts in Miami Dade County, such as South Miami, Wynwood and Doral have been working towards implementing their own BID’s, most of which seek direction from the Coral Gables BID.

A petition process was used to re-establish the BID, requiring a majority of affected property owners, or at least 93, to return notarized petitions in support of the BID. One hundred twenty-three petitions were submitted in support of the reestablishment of the BID, and one opposed — out of a possible total of 184. Four petitions were invalid because they were missing notarization, and one was missing proof of ownership. The final certified amount of 118 valid petitions was 25 more than needed to meet the minimum requirement.

Created in 1997, the Business Improvement District (BID) of Coral Gables’ mission is to promote commercial vitality for Miracle Mile and Downtown Coral Gables, and to act as a strategic catalyst for the overall improvement of the area. Downtown Coral Gables’ Miracle Mile is a pedestrian-friendly neighborhood with more than 160 retailers and over 70 restaurants. Infused with a chic European feel, tree-lined streets and Mediterranean architecture, the historic area boasts some of Greater Miami’s finest boutiques, acclaimed restaurants and lively cultural venues.

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