International Downtown Association Emerging Leaders Fellowship Program in NYC

Updated: Jan 21

As part of last week’s experiential Emerging Leader Fellowship program hosted by the International Downtown Association (IDA), Karp Strategies Senior Consultant, Nur Asri, presented the commercial district needs assessment tool to the cohort of professionals from within the urban district management industry. The comprehensive tool enables urban district practitioners to diagnose challenges and opportunities in four main areas: physical environment, business environment, market demand, and administrative capacity, and is now being deployed by NYC Department of Small Business Services, in partnership with local community-based organizations, to guide investment decisions in districts across the five boroughs.


Following the presentation at the offices of the International Council of Shopping Centers, the cohort of fellows then headed to Jackson Heights, Queens, to meet with 82nd Street Partnership Executive Director, Leslie Ramos, to learn more about one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the country. With baseline knowledge of the district and its major tenants, property owners, and community stakeholders, the cohort then headed out into the field to carry out over 27 in-person merchant surveys and to test out the commercial district needs assessment tool on 82nd Street.


While there were several issues raised by merchants around construction disruption and public safety, stakeholders also noted their strong appreciation for 82nd Street Partnership’s efforts in improving street cleanliness and providing regulatory and marketing support to local businesses. Here at Karp Strategies our team continues to find ways to support commercial district managers and their staff in providing the right services and information to their constituents – whether through supporting stakeholder engagement in BID formation processes or conducting feasibility analysis and best practice research to inform strategic planning.



A huge thank you to Carolyn Dellutri, IDA’s Director of Professional Development, for inviting Nur Asri to be a part of the ELF program! Our team is looking forward to re-engaging with the fellows this Fall at the 65th Annual Conference and Tradeshow in Baltimore and to continue discussing emerging trends and solutions in urban place management.

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