One year ago, the business improvement district (BID) formerly known as the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership expanded its boundaries to encompass all of NoMad to the north, 20th Street to the south, and seven more blocks of Sixth Avenue to the west. Since expanding in January 2022, the BID—now called the Flatiron NoMad Partnership—has transformed these added blocks through its services, including sanitation, beautification, public space management, safety, marketing, and public events. By creating a cleaner, more cohesive, and more vibrant district, the nonprofit Partnership has bolstered local businesses and accelerated NoMad’s evolution as one of New York City’s top destinations.
“Our team continues to deliver on the promise we made to our stakeholders in our expanded footprint, enhancing the experiences of residents, visitors, business owners, and employees on these additional blocks,” said James Mettham, President of the Flatiron NoMad Partnership. “We are driven by a core belief that vibrant neighborhoods and beautiful public spaces are critical for the well-being of people and the economic vitality of our city.”
During 2022, in the BID’s expansion areas alone, the Partnership collected 36,142 bags of trash; removed graffiti from walls and gates 7,087 times; and scraped, cleaned, and painted street furniture 25,437 times. Also in the expansion areas, the Partnership installed 66 new hanging flower baskets, 75 new lamppost banners, and 76 expanded tree pits with seasonal plants, flowers, and Partnership-branded tree-pit guards. Additionally, the organization extended its horticulture work on the Park Avenue South malls to cover five more blocks, now stretching from 19th Street to 32nd Street, with 19 new hornbeam trees and other plants. A map of the BID expansion is available here.
“My small business has been here for 16 years, and there used to be more garbage pile up on 6th Avenue and 27th Street than any other corner around,” said Sheldon Henley, owner of The Buzz Wine & Liquors at 795 6th Avenue in the BID’s expansion area. “I used to come in early every morning to clean the corner, but I haven’t had to do that since the Flatiron NoMad Partnership started servicing our block. They clean up the trash, remove all the graffiti, and even sweep away the rain puddles. When the sidewalks are clean, it benefits the safety of the neighborhood and makes everyone’s life better.”
“In just one year, the Flatiron NoMad Partnership has transformed our neighborhood with colorful plantings, sharp-looking trash cans, frequent garbage collection, and graffiti removal,” said Serge Harnett, a 24-year resident of a cooperative on 29th Street, a member of the 29th Street Neighborhood Association, and the president of the 13th Precinct Community Council. “The unique graphic design of the Flatiron NoMad planters and streetlamp banners reinforces our neighborhood’s evolution. Each element of the Partnership’s work contributes to the cumulative impact on the quality of life we experience every day.”
The beautified streetscapes have supported NoMad’s decade-long rise to become one of New York City’s top destinations, after many years as a nameless—and often overlooked—neighborhood. Condé Nast Traveler recently named NoMad one of “The 23 Best Places to Go in the U.S. in 2023.” With four major hotels that opened in NoMad in 2022 (Ritz-Carlton New York, The Ned NoMad, and Le Méridien), and three more opening in the first half of 2023 (The Virgin Hotel, Hotel AKA NoMad, and The Fifth Avenue Hotel), the greater Flatiron NoMad district will have a total of 32 hotels.
“The Flatiron NoMad Partnership has helped to give the neighborhood a cohesive identity while elevating it into a world-class destination for visitors and locals alike,” said Sean Johnston, General Manager of Moxy Chelsea at 105 W 28th Street, in the BID’s expansion area. “Our neighborhood is one of Moxy Chelsea’s greatest assets, because our guests love being in the heart of Manhattan, with so many great dining options and cultural activities a short walk away. The enhanced streetscapes have made it even better.”
The streetscape improvements and influx of visitors contributed to pedestrian foot traffic increasing by 26% year-over-year in the district in 2022. These factors have attracted new businesses, especially in the BID’s expansion areas which saw 66 new ground-floor businesses open in 2022, with an additional 17 planning to open in early 2023. Twenty-seven of these newly opened businesses—and nine of the soon-to-open businesses—are in the food and beverage category, strengthening the greater Flatiron NoMad district’s reputation as one of New York City’s top dining destinations.
Harnett added, “My neighbors ask, ‘Has something happened? The area feels cleaner and looks better.’ My response is that the Flatiron NoMad BID expansion is here now, and more is to come!’ The expansion extends to our area all the improvements the Partnership had already made to the Madison Square Park area. We look forward to more dynamic growth from diverse new businesses attracted to the area by the Partnership’s improvements.”
In 2023, the Partnership will continue collaborating with the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) to improve the pedestrian experience and safety on Broadway throughout the district, including the NoMad blocks that became part of the BID in last year’s expansion.
As part of that work, in 2022 the Partnership and DOT installed the NoMad Piazza pedestrian plaza on the Broadway roadbed from 25th to 27th Streets, improving pedestrian safety, enhancing the outdoor dining at adjacent restaurants, and drawing new businesses to these two blocks. The Partnership has also hosted public cultural programming on the NoMad Piazza, including music performances and salsa dancing classes.
In May 2022 the Partnership changed its name from the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership to the Flatiron NoMad Partnership, to better reflect its new boundaries and support its efforts to market the district as a destination for visitors from near and far. The rebrand included the creation of a new website, flatironnomad.nyc.