‘Downtown of the Month”

The Ironbound Business Improvement District (IBID)

Ironbound Business Improvement District

The Ironbound Business Improvement District (IBID) is located in Newark, NJ in the Ferry Street business area adjacent to Newark’s Penn Station. Known as a Portuguese, Spanish, Brazilian, South and Latin American community it is New Jersey’s Brooklyn. Newark is the USA’s third oldest city, and is located only 20 miles from New York City and at the center of a transportation, shopping, and entertainment nexus. More than 720 trains pass through the Ironbound neighborhood on the NE Corridor, Newark Liberty Airport is on its southeast border, the Port of Newark is on its eastern border, and every form of road transportation coalesce in Newark. At the center of Newark is the Ironbound community, known for its excellent Iberian and South American restaurants and very affordable prices. Portuguese is the predominate language spoken in the Ironbound. The following attractions are within walking distance of the Ironbound: the new Prudential Arena, which houses the NJ Devils Pro Hockey team; the NJ Performance Arts Center (NJPAC)-a world class music hall completed in 1999; the famous Newark Museum; Rutgers University and NJ Institute of Technology, Seton Hall Law School, and the NJ University of Medicine and Dentistry. Newark is a college town, and the SOHO to Newark’s downtown.

Organizational Characteristics

  • Name of the Organization: Ironbound Business Improvement District (IBID)
  • Annual Operating Budget: $525,000
  • Date of Incorporation: October 12, 2000

Purpose for which the organization was originally formed: This organization was established as a Business Improvement District (BID) for the benefit of the business and property owners and residents in the Ironbound (Ferry Street) area of the East Ward of the City of Newark, NJ.

Vision Statement:
The IBID is committed to providing a friendly neighborhood: one that will include a safe and clean environment that gives our community, customers, and visitors a feeling of being wanted and appreciated. It will be so unique that those who come to enjoy what so many of us have taken for granted will undoubtedly come back for more.

Population Characteristics

Geographic area served by the organization: The IBID comprises the neighborhood along the Passaic River with Ferry Street as its spine: Ferry Street from Market Street to Christie St.; Lafayette Street from Railroad Ave. to Merchant St.; Market Street from Railroad Ave. to Ferry Street; all streets between Lafayette Street (ending at Merchant St.) and the Passaic River; and all streets between Ferry Street (from Penn Station to Fillmore) and the Passaic River.

Ironbound Business Improvement District

  • 75% – white
  • 36% – Hispanic and Latino
  • 72% – foreign-born, which reflects the area’s reputation as a neighborhood of immigrants.
Income: (Working community of 24,000 residents)

  • $50,600 Average household income
  • $263,600 median home value
Highly motivated, young workforce:

  • 97% employment rate
  • Excellent mix of service and professional workers
Youthful, family-oriented community

  • $30.8 years median population age
  • 58% of population married
  • 38% of population has children at home

Programming Characteristics
Ironbound Business Improvement DistrictThe IBID provides a comprehensive array of community and business development services: safety and cleanup; planning and design; infrastructure and public space improvement, promotions and special events; public relations and communications; advocacy; employment; and housing support aimed at integrating private and public sector concerns that improve the quality of life. More than 500,000 people attend the Portugal Day, Brazilian , and Ecuadorian Festivals held in June, July and September each year. We serve millions of clients and customers. Our membership base of businesses is over 500 plus over 170 restaurants (New Jersey’s premier restaurant and entertainment district) and over 50,000 residents within the Ironbound. The IBID’s largest capital project is a 6,300 sq. ft. streetscape project that includes a park renovation, which began in the Fall of 2008 and is expected to be completed in 2011 at a cost of over $15 million. The IBID is known for its outstanding marketing program “Meet Me In The Ironbound, which uses destination marketing strategies for urban tourism.

Organizational Staffing Characteristics

  • Total Number of Staff Positions: 8
  • Number of Occupied Positions: 8
  • Number of Regular Volunteers: 27

Organizational Capacity:
The IBID has a full time professional manager and maintains a professional staff that includes an accountant, a public relations officer, and contractual professional outdoor cleaning service. The IBID has a competent staff, which includes six employees and contracted professionals in management and planning, public relations, engineering, clean-up support services, landscaping, data research, program development, accounting and insurance, printing and advertising. The IBID has expanded to include business recruitment and marketing support services. All in all we have a staff of eight full and part-time people and a team of eleven support professionals working on various tasks that get the job done. Our efforts are comprehensive and include: Management and Finances, Quality of Life, Public Relations and Advertising, Business Recruitment, and Architecture and Design. A goal is to add value to our customers experience, support the traditions of our community, and operate in a professional and ethical manner. The Board of Directors has 25 members.

Ironbound Business Improvement District

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