Daniel A. Biederman is an American urban redevelopment expert and public space management consultant. He is the co-founder of Grand Central Partnership, 34th Street Partnership, and Bryant Park Corporation, three Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) operating in Midtown Manhattan, and is also the President of Biederman Redevelopment Ventures, a place-making consulting firm. Biederman has been cited for his success in using private funding to revitalize urban public spaces and parks.
|Education||B.A. Princeton University|
M.B.A. Harvard Business School
|Occupation||Downtown manager and urban redeveloper|
Bryant Park Corporation
34th Street Partnership
Grand Central Partnership
Biederman Redevelopment Ventures
In 1980 Biederman and Andrew Heiskell, then-Chairman of Time, Inc. and the New York Public Library, co-founded the Bryant Park Corporation (BPC). The not-for-profit private management company was created by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund to bring improvements to Bryant Park, a 9.6-acre (3.9 ha) park in Midtown Manhattan which had suffered a severe, decades-long decline. BPC immediately brought enhanced security and sanitation to the park and began slowly to rehabilitate its physical plant.
In 1987, the City of New York signed a 15-year agreement entrusting BPC with sole responsibility for managing, programming, and improving the park, whereupon it was closed for a four-year renovation. The project entailed improving existing, and creating additional, park entrances to increase visibility from the street, enhancing the formal French garden design, and improving the park's paths and lighting. BPC's plan also included restoring the park's monuments, renovating its long-closed restrooms, and building two restaurant pavilions and four permanent food kiosks.
After a four-year effort overseen by Biederman, the park reopened in 1992 to widespread acclaim. Called "a triumph for many" by The New York Times architectural critic Paul Goldberger, the renovation was lauded for its architectural excellence. The renovation was also lauded as "The Best Example of Urban Renewal" by New York magazine, and was described by Time as a "small miracle". Many awards followed, including a Design Merit Award from Landscape Architecture Magazine, and a 1996 Award for Excellence from the Urban Land Institute.
34th Street Partnership (34SP) was founded in 1989 when then-Mayor David Dinkins and property owners on 34th Street asked Biederman to spearhead efforts to improve the area adjacent to Madison Square Garden in preparation for the 1992 Democratic National Convention.
In January 1992, the Partnership opened a $6 million annual program of security, sanitation, tourist information, public events, and debt service on a major capital improvement bond of $25 million for improvements to the district's street, sidewalks, and plazas.
In 2000, 34SP completed a project to redevelop Herald Square Park and Greeley Square Park, two triangular public spaces located at the convergence of Broadway, Sixth Avenue, and 34th Street. The renovation included adding a public restroom and permanent food kiosk to each park, as well as installing horticultural elements, chairs, and tables.
The 34SP BID continues to operate across the 31 blocks comprising the 34th Street District. The capital improvements have been widely regarded as a prime reason for the rise in 34th Street property values that began in the 1990s and continues to this day, with "rapid appreciation on nearly every street". 34th Street Partnership has also been credited with attracting national retailers to 34th Street, and for the rise in retail rents.
As President of 34SP, Biederman has criticized the condition of New York's streetscape and has led efforts to upgrade it.
34SP has worked with shop owners on 34th Street to improve the appearance of store frontage and to curtail the use of opaque steel doors during closing hours.
The BID's design and capital departments have greatly reduced the number of individual newsboxes in the district, and convinced publishers to place their publications in 34SP's own multiple newsboxes.
Senior 34SP staff has lobbied NYC government to enforce laws prohibiting bus and truck idling, and to move intercity buses away from the 34th Street District.
In 1984 then-Mayor Ed Koch, at the behest of executives from many of the Fortune 500 companies that are headquartered near Grand Central Terminal in New York, asked Biederman to help make the downtrodden area around the terminal commensurate with the offices nearby. Biederman formed the Grand Central Partnership (GCP), a Business Improvement District that provided enhanced security, sanitation, and streetscape improvements to the area.
After a series of disagreements with then-Mayor Rudy Giuliani over rules governing BIDs, Biederman resigned from GCP in 1998. He continues to serve as President of Bryant Park Corporation and 34th Street Partnership.
Biederman formed Biederman Redevelopment Ventures (BRV), a place-making consulting firm, in 1999. The company works with real estate developers, government agencies, charitable foundations, and professional sports teams on projects to create, redevelop, and/or operate urban public spaces in 28 states and six countries.
BRV created a programming and operations plan for Klyde Warren Park, a 5.2-acre park constructed atop a sunken freeway in Dallas that opened in 2012. BRV also advised Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation, the dedicated not-for-profit company that manages the park, on sanitation, security, programming, and revenue creation.
BRV was selected in April 2017 to operate Salesforce Park, a new park set atop Salesforce Transit Center in San Francisco, which opened in August 2018. In addition to programming the park and its amphitheater, BRV oversees general operations, horticulture, and revenue generation.
As placemaking consultant, BRV worked with the Green Bay Packers on the design, programming, and operations of the new Titletown District adjacent to Lambeau Field in Green Bay, WI. Titletown opened in September 2017, and BRV continues to advise the managing company on its operations.