“Bridge Street is so important to this community because it’s been a partner to the merchants here.”
—Tremaine Wright, Owner, Common Grounds
Economic DevelopmentBridge Street’s economic development work grew naturally out of our real estate development work. We started on Tompkins Avenue by helping several small business start-ups, including Tremaine Wright's Common Grounds coffee house, shown in photo at right.
Our Economic Development program has four objectives:
- Provide technical and planning assistance to small business start-ups
- Develop commercial space for business
- Implement neighborhood retail initiatives to attract and retain businesses and jobs
- Offer empowering financial literacy programs and business planning courses, as well as first-time homebuyer workshops at BSDC’s Wealth Creation Center.
Recently, BSDC also provided financing to two entrepreneurs—Jive Turkey and Common Grounds—and assisted them with starting their businesses and creating ten jobs.
BSDC is also pushing to develop more commercial space in its residential buildings, and it continues working to revitalize Bedford-Stuyvesant's secondary commercial corridors, where it has:
- Established merchants associations and branding for the three corridors:
- Shops of Lewis Avenue (SOLA)
- Malcolm X Merchants Association (MXMA)
- Tompkins Avenue Merchants Association (TAMA).
- Developed a commercial façade improvement program for them
- Provided initial funding on Tompkins and Lewis Avenues for the installation of slotted gates.