The Bloomfield Avenue/Lower Broadway Alliance (BALBA) 
is happy to provide a range of services to support the success of the
Bloomfield Avenue/Lower Broadway Business Improvement District.

Placemaking & beautification

Our District Landscaping & Beautification efforts include seasonal plantings and hanging flower baskets to cultivate a beautified district. We prioritize maintaining a district that is aesthetically pleasing to support public engagement in local visitation and commerce. New plantings are installed each Fall and Spring. New banner systems are implemented twice throughout the year. Our ‘Open for Business’ banner system was introduced to the district in 2021 to support the reopening and ongoing activities of businesses in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Quality of life & outdoor services

Our work supports the beautification and ongoing economic vitality of the district through seasonal planting, outdoor decor, sanitation, public safety and activation. Our 7-day per week supplemental maintenance and sanitation program which includes daily street sweeping, maintenance of public amenities, trash collection, graffiti removal, daily trash collection and weekly pressure washing. We have included the disinfection of high-touch areas like trash cans, mail boxes, traffic signal buttons, and bus stops since the inception of the COVID-19 pandemic. To address safety concerns in the district, we have established a supplemental policing program in partnership with the Essex County Sheriff’s Office. The daily detail includes vehicular patrols and foot patrols to address quality-of-life issues in the area. We also endorse our local community to support local businesses through social media, our street pole banner campaigns and street decals.

BUSINess promotion

BALBA’s business promotion efforts seek to support our district businesses through special campaigns. Our first Shop Small campaign launched in November of 2020 to encourage residents to safely support their local stores throughout the COVID pandemic. This campaign included storefront decals with the campaign slogan and the BALBA logo, and coincided with Small Business Saturday. This campaign also utilized sidewalk decals, a unique way to differentiate the business district and promote the campaign. We also use social media marketing to promote our businesses and plan to introduce our Small Business Spotlight promotion this Spring.

Holiday decor & programming

BALBA continued its annual Holiday Decorations program, installing lit snowflakes and wreaths throughout the district. A planned expansion of the decorations was delayed due to COVID. Although at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, BALBA held a virtual tree lighting which included video messages from BALBA board members and local elected officials. The virtual event was live streamed via Facebook and featured holiday music and a countdown to the lit tree. We found it more important than ever during this time to bring holiday cheer to our community even if we could not physically be together. BALBA held its 2nd Annual official Holiday Tree Lighting on December 7, 2021; bringing holiday cheer to the corner of Broadway and Bloomfield Avenue from 3pm to 5pm with holiday music, hot chocolate and holiday treats.

Capital planning

In partnership with Councilman Anibal Ramos Jr., BALBA initiated the creation of a reimagined Sal Bontempo Plaza at the corner of 1st Avenue and Bloomfield Avenue in 2020. The plaza poses the opportunity to have an immense impact on the surrounding environment, offering areas of shade, respite and traffic-calming. The ground breaking is estimated to begin this year. In October of 2022 BALBA completed a Vision Study for the corridor which allowed us to obtain insight and feedback from stakeholders and to identify priorities for the district. Findings from the Study will inform the district work plan in future years. Our capital planning efforts have also identified Michael P. Calambro Square as a site for potential redevelopment. The site was the former home to the Christopher Columbus memorial and is ripe for redesign to offer public seating, social cohesion and better represent the surrounding community.