Bob Zuckerman’s in BID’ness on the Lower East Side


By Albert Amateau

The Lower East Side Business Improvement District last week announced the appointment of Bob Zuckerman as executive director of the BID, covering roughly between Allen and Ludlow Sts. from East Houston to Grand Sts.

Zuckerman, former executive director of the nonprofit Gowanus Canal Community Development Corporation and its affiliate, the Gowanus Canal Conservancy, replaces Roberto Ragone, who became executive director of the new Belmont BID in the Bronx.

“We’re very excited to have Bob as our new executive director,” said Mark Miller, president of the 10-block improvement district with an annual budget of $1.2 million. “His experience running nonprofit organizations, along with his community advocacy, makes him the ideal choice to lead the Lower East Side BID. His passion to help small businesses by creating thriving and diverse business districts complements the Lower East Side BID’s goals.”

“I’m thrilled to be on the Lower East Side, with its incredible vibrancy, new galleries, fabulous restaurants, nightlife and traditional merchants,” Zuckerman said. “It’s a neighborhood like no other. My commitment is to help the small business community, especially during these difficult economic times and to improve the quality of life for merchants and residents alike.”

He noted that New York magazine last week cited the Lower East Side as the best place to live in Manhattan.

Through his work with the Gowanus development and environmental groups, Zuckerman advocated for smart development along the Gowanus corridor and devised new strategies for cleaning up the canal and adjacent land.

He previously served as executive director of the Greenwich Village-Chelsea Chamber of Commerce, and before that he was executive director of the New York Nightlife Association. Zuckerman, 48, also served as assistant director of development for the L.G.B.T. Community Center, on W. 13th St. As an entrepreneur, he created the first consumer Internet expo 10 years ago in New York City. Last year, he ran as a candidate in the Democratic primary for the City Council from the Brooklyn district where he makes his home.

Zuckerman graduated from Emory University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and earned a law degree from American University’s Washington College of Law. He is also an alumnus of the Coro Foundation Leadership New York program.