Downtown W-B Business Improvement District

On August 1, 2007, the Downtown Wilkes-Barre Business Improvement District (DWBBID) began providing supplementary cleaning, security, marketing, and facade improvement services to the properties and businesses of Downtown Wilkes-Barre.

After five years of operation, the DWBBID was renewed by an ordinance adopted by Wilkes-Barre City Council on July 12, 2012 following the requirements of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Neighborhood Improvement District Act.

A Business Improvement District (BID) is a legal mechanism that allows property owners and businesses to pool resources to effectively address common concerns within a specific service area. Because a BID is based upon a multi-year commitment, it provides sustainable funding so development plans, budgets, and business strategies can be made on a multi-year basis. The cost per business is low because all benefiting properties pay their fair share.

The Diamond City Partnership manages the DWBBID, which serves an area extending from Academy Street in the south to North Street in the north. Downtown Wilkes-Barre’s property and business owners are all partners in the DWBBID: their collective investment makes it possible for the DWBBID to provide these services, and to create a cleaner, safer, and more vibrant Downtown.

The DWBBID’s operation has demonstrated that a business improvement district is an equitable means of achieving a cleaner, safer, better-marketed central city – an investment providing a positive impact upon each property owner’s bottom line.

Consider the following facts:

  • DWBBID’s Clean Team has removed more than 25 tons of trash from the District’s sidewalks and doorways since 2007.
  • DWBBID’s Clean Team has removed more than 900 separate graffiti tags from buildings and properties within the District since 2007; this graffiti is removed within 24 hours of being reported.
  • DWBBID’s Clean Team has spread more than 6 tons of salt on Downtown’s sidewalks and handicapped ramps in order to improve the wintertime pedestrian experience.
  • DWBBID’s Clean Team installs and maintains more than 150 hanging flower baskets on streetlamps throughout Downtown’s commercial core each summer.
  • DWBBID provides funding for additional downtown police patrols above and beyond the Police Department’s base patrol levels each week.
  • DWBBID was able to secure additional foundation monies for a dedicated Façade Grant Program that has funded 39 different projects, resulting in grants of $189,000 for improvements to ratepayer properties and leveraging more than $1,000,000 in new private investment in Downtown Wilkes-Barre. To date, each dollar of Façade Grant funds has leveraged more than five dollars in additional investment within the BID.

The DWBBID’s current operating plan, which is in place from 2012 until the end of 2018, places additional emphasis on business development, marketing, and promotion, while continuing to ensure that Downtown Wilkes-Barre is clean, safe, and attractive.

Click here to download the Final 2012-2018 Plan for the Downtown Wilkes-Barre Business Improvement District.

If you have any questions about the DWBBID or its operations, please contact DCP’s Executive Director, Larry Newman, here.