“Do you know what’s about to happen to this neighborhood?” whispered Kenneth Mbonu, director of economic development at .
He leaned in as if to be telling a secret: “In the next ten years, places like Malcolm X Boulevard will be totally revamped with new businesses, and new and old residents must recognize the urgency of what is at stake to avoid the usual winners-versus-losers type scenario.”
As Bedford-Stuyvesant develops and grows at a rapid-fire rate, Mbonu is passionate about making sure Bed-Stuy residents benefit economically from all of the changes taking place,
So, on Thursday, June 21, from 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. at Fashion Rock Hall, 372 Tompkins Avenue, Bridge Street will host “,” for current and potential business-owners of Bedford-Stuyvesant.
The workshop will discuss the economic impact of living in a changing neighborhood, and how residents can build broad business participation for community renewal. The discussion will center around the changes and opportunities for development on Malcolm X Boulevard.
Rex Curry, partner at ReidCurry Inc. will lead the workshop, providing an analysis of a retail scan his firm has conducted on Malcolm X Boulevard.
Twenty years ago, ReidCurry, along with Pratt-Area Community Council, conducted a retail analysis of Myrtle Avenue at the time when the strip seemed like an abandoned and worthless corridor, according to Mbonu.
They looked at Myrtle’s positioning to the rest of the community, the potential business opportunities, the demographic migration, how the population would change, and what kind of businesses could flourish there.
“Rex Curry predicted what would happen to Myrtle Avenue 20 years ago, and it is reflected precisely that way today,” said Mbonu. “In that same way, Malcolm X Boulevard has a lot of potential, and it is up to us as residents and business owners, to take a role in positioning ourselves. Because when Malcolm X changes -- which it will -- it is important that we are not left behind.”
Other guest speakers at the event include Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries; Catalina Castano, regional director of the Brooklyn Small Business Development Center; and Rotimi Akinnuoye, president of Global Soles and a partner of Bed-Vyne Wine.
A wine and hors d’oeuvres reception at The Gallery Next Door, 370 Tompkins Avenue, will follow the workshop, featuring a living art exhibition by Jennifer Giuglianotti.
To RSVP for “Mapping The Road Ahead,” email email@example.com. Space is limited.