BRV: Biederman Redevelopment Ventures Rethinking Urban Environments
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Daniel A. Biederman, President

Dan Biederman, co-founder of Grand Central Partnership, 34th Street Partnership, Bryant Park Restoration Corporation, and Chelsea Improvement Company, currently serves as the President of the latter three of those downtown management organizations and, through his private consulting firm, BRV Corp., has served as a consultant to other downtown redevelopment / management efforts in Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Miami, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and Newark, among other cities.

Bryant Park Restoration Corporation, founded in 1980 by Mr. Biederman and Andrew Heiskell, former Chairman of Time Inc. and then Chairman of the New York Public Library, with the assistance of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, is one of the largest efforts in the nation to apply private management backed by private funding to a public park. The park reopened in 1991 with a budget six times the level under prior city management, and has been a huge success with public, press, and nearby institutions. Crime in the critical nine-acre area managed by BPRC has been reduced by 100% since the Corporation's founding. Today's Bryant Park is favorably compared with the great parks of London and Paris, and was the 1996 winner of the Urban Land Institute Excellence Award for public projects, as well as many other awards from design, real estate, and redevelopment groups.

34th Street Partnership, founded in 1989 by Mr. Biederman with property-owners Peter Malkin and Bernard Mendik, covers a critical area with over 36 million square feet of commercial space, including Pennsylvania Station, Madison Square Garden, the Herald Square shopping district, and the Empire State Building. In January of 1992, the Partnership opened a $6 million annual program of security, sanitation, social services, tourist information, public events, and debt service on a major capital improvement bond of $30 million for to the district's street, sidewalks, and plazas. Crime has already been reduced by close to 70%, the streets are spotless, and dozens of retailers have been helped to upgrade their facades and merchandising.

Mr. Biederman applied the lessons of Bryant Park to the reconstruction of Herald and Greeley Squares, two traffic islands that form a bow-tie at 34th Street & Broadway. Once poorly maintained drug havens, the areas have been transformed into small parks that utilize the same successful elements as Bryant Park - from movable chairs and lavish gardens to diligent security and sanitation forces. The Partnership received this year's Special Achievement award from the International Downtown Association for the renovation of the Squares.

Among the most visible improvements that Mr. Biederman initiated throughout the 34th Street District are the various streetscape projects. These include new lighting, signage, street furniture, plantings, structures such as information kiosks, and numerous other amenities whose distinctive designs help “brand” the district and whose presence is the physical reflection of the area’s transformation and revitalization. The Partnership created all these projects in-house, and manages and maintains them on an ongoing basis. It was the first BID to take this important step, creating custom streetscape projects that address the practical and aesthetic problems of today’s urban environment. The Partnership has received many awards for its pioneering work, including the 2003 Society for Environmental Graphic Design Award for its Self-Illuminated Street Sign, and the NYC Department of Small Business Services 2003 Neighborhood Development Award and Urban Land Institute’s 2005 Award for Excellence for its line of Custom Designed Street Furniture.

Over the last several years, through his consulting firm BRV Corp., Mr. Biederman has advised public and private parties on, among other things, the art of downtown management, economic development, and rehabilitation in a host of cities and neighborhoods in various countries. In December of 1995, he served on a twelve member advisory panel convened in Oklahoma City by the Urban Land Institute to explore strategies for the economic recovery of the downtown area in the aftermath of the April 19, 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.

Mr. Biederman has written, lectured, and taught extensively in the field of urban management, and advises a number of other cities and private property-owners on the establishment or turnaround of parks and plazas, and Business Improvement Districts; his publications include articles in Urban Land and the Harvard Business Review.

Mr. Biederman is a magna cum laude graduate of Princeton University, with an A.B. from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs in 1975. He also earned an M.B.A. with Distinction from Harvard University's Graduate School of Business Administration in 1977.

Mr. Biederman is a member of the Urban Land Institute, serving on the New York District Council’s Executive Committee, and the International Downtown Association. He is a member of the Dean’s Council of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and the Trust for Public Land’s New York Advisory Council, and serves on the boards of the City University Graduate Center in New York, NYC & Company, the 42nd Street Development Corporation, and the Friends of Princeton Track. Mr. Biederman was a founding partner of the Edison Schools in 1991, contributing to the design and business plan for the nation’s largest for-profit school operating company. Married for 25 years to the fine arts lawyer and author Susan Duke Biederman, he has a 20-year-old son, Robert, and a 15-year-old daughter, Brooke.

 
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