WPCNR QUILL & EYESHADE. By John F. Bailey. July 22, 2014:
“Is it the rainbow or just a mirage?
Will it be tender and sweetor merely massage?
Is it a brainstorm in one of its quirks,
Or ,is it the best, the crest, the works?
Is it for all time or simply a lark?
Is it the Lido I see or only Asbury Park?
Should I say “Thumbs down” and give it a shove?
Or is it at long last love?
—At long Last Love written by Cole Porter © 1937,1938 Chappell & Company. All rights reserved. From the musical, YOU NEVER KNOW
That’s what White Plains is daring to hope as June sales tax numbers broke all records for a single month with White Plains receiving $5,389,048.64, the most money earned in one month since September, 2011, when the city earned $5 million (augmented by one-time adjustment).
This salvo of dollars closed the city 2013-14 fiscal year with $51,856,186.97 in total sales tax recepts, 3.9% higher than 2012-13 sales tax receipts OF $49,913,996.69. The pace of White Plains growth overtook Westchester County, the first time this has happened in over a year. Westchester County over the first six months of 2014.WAS UP 3.4% TO the 3.9% White Plains growth rate.
It also by WPCNR estimate will allow the city to slip perhaps $7 Million into the Fund Balance Stabilization Fund, a balance used ostensibly to build back city fund balance, but serves to fund rising labor costs each year in a quid pro quo exhange.
Had April and May not been so cold and rainy, the city might have done even better.
Kevin Nunn, Executive Director of the White Plains Business Improvement District, called the June handle, “Good news. We’d like to see it continue.”
He said several events in June might have contributed to the increase, such as the Criterion Bike Race that took place on a Sunday, and the Leisure Expo.
Asked if the BID was concerned about the number of empty storefronts in the White Plains downtown Business Improvement District, Nunn said “it (vacant storefronts) is more than we’d like.” He told WPCNR the business owners that make up the BID are concerned about it have voted to commission a profession organization, RES Group to undertake a detailed survey of the White Plains commercial properties in the district in an effort to define how the downtown might focus its efforts on what companies and tenants to attract and how the district can make itself more attractive
The firm he said will be survey customers enterting establishments at various times of the week; they will send out a mail survey to residents, which can be completed online (no need to mail it in) for which they will receive amazon.com coupons if they go on line and fill it out.
The group will also be taking a survey of rents and lease arrangements to ascertain what kind of deals White Plains is offering to prospective retail tenants to analyze if that is a factor that keeps.
Parking will be analyzed as part of the survey, as will consumer interest in what retail products they come to White Plains for and what they want through national trends analyzed by the firm ESRI
Nunn said the survey would be commenced in September “when everybody is back in town.”
Nunn said the survey was the idea of the BID Membership generated from discussion among members.
Involved in doing part of the survey is VHB, the firm that acquired Saccardi & Schiff three years ago. VHB will be surveying the walkability, streetscape and convenience of the downtown.
RES the parent firm has done such surveys for the Museum of Modern Art and Metrotech, among others.