London’s business community in the Hamilton Road area has a plan to join the downtown, Old East Village and Argyle neighbourhoods as a business improvement area.
It has taken 3-4 four years to get to this point. The Hamilton Road Business Association have spent the past couple of years outlining what their BIA would have to make the transition as seamless as possible.
Association president Rick Pinheiro said the proposed area the BIA would cover would be Hamilton Road between Adelaide and Highbury to the east and west, and from the river in the south to the train tracks in the north.
In order for the association to form a BIA, the majority of the businesses in the designated area would have to support the move. If they form a BIA, city council could then pass a bylaw that requires businesses in the designated area to pay an annual fee.
Pinheiro said he’s done a lot of research on BIA’s and found many have business directories and promotions.
“We’ve already done that ourselves, we have our own phone directory for the area, we have flags on polls and we promote the area through our website, we have a board of individuals who are dedicated in volunteering, and we also have councillor Michael Van Holst on that board.”
The association will meet Wednesday evening from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. to begin the process.
Becoming a BIA will be done in conjunction with a community improvement plan.
The plan was approved by the city and will create more pathways, highlight the river and improve the streetscape.
In the past, there have been times when Londoners in the east end of the city have accused city hall of neglecting them, but Pinheiro doesn’t think that’s the case.
“I’ve heard that quite a bit myself. I’m not a big believer in that, everybody gets a part and you do have to speak loud if you want your part,” he said. “These other villages that are along the side, are equally as important, and I think now is the time to address all of that. And I think that’s exactly what the city is doing, they’ve put a lot of effort into the downtown, but they’ve also been working on the Old East Village, they’ve assisted the Argyle BIA.”
The exact timeline for when they can become a business improvement area hasn’t been determined, but Pinheiro expects it to take a couple months. He’s hopeful it will be completed by the end of the year.