The Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership Business Improvement District (BID), which strengthens two of the city’s most dynamic neighborhoods, Flatiron and NoMad, today announced the appointment of James Mettham as the organization’s new Executive Director. Mr. Mettham, who has a wealth of public service experience working with BIDs across New York City, will start in the position on March 11.
Mr. Mettham currently serves as Managing Director of Finance and Operation at the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership and previously held several key positions with the New York City Department of Small Business Services (SBS), including as Assistant Commissioner and Executive Director of BID Program Management where he oversaw the formation and expansion efforts of BIDs across the city.
“James Mettham impressed us with his experience, capability, and vitality,” said Gregg Schenker, Chair of the Flatiron Partnership’s Board of Directors. “The Flatiron Partnership was fortunate to have been led by our founding Executive Director Jennifer Brown for more than 12 years until her recent move. While we received applications from more than 70 people, many with stellar credentials, James stood out because of his enthusiasm and forward-thinking approach.”
As Executive Director, Mr. Mettham will work closely with property owners, retailers, restaurants, residents, community leaders, elected officials, and agency heads, to ensure Flatiron – which has seen the growth of the NoMad area within its northern boundary – continues to thrive and remains a global destination in which to live, work, and visit. His arrival comes as the Flatiron Partnership moves to expand the district’s boundaries to serve more property owners, businesses, employees, residents, and visitors.
In recent years, the district has witnessed significant growth in a number of sectors – such as tech, hospitality, creative services, fitness, coworking, and residential – and continues to have one of the city’s lowest vacancy rates. In addition to supporting the neighborhood’s economy, the Flatiron Partnership has been spearheading efforts to make permanent the popular Public Plazas, which flank the Broadway, Fifth Avenue, and 23rd Street intersection and anchor many of the Flatiron Partnership’s free, seasonal programming.
“Flatiron is an exceptional district, and I have long admired the Flatiron Partnership’s role in maintaining a safe, vibrant, and appealing district where people want to live, work, learn, and play,” Mr. Mettham said. “I hope to build on the innovation and creativity that has elevated the Flatiron Partnership into one of our city’s premiere BIDs, and thank the Board for this wonderful opportunity. I’m excited to get to work.”
At the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, Mr. Mettham oversaw the operations and finances of the central business district’s local development corporation and three BIDs. Previously, at SBS, he last served as Assistant Commissioner in the agency’s Neighborhood Development Division, where he led a staff charged with strengthening and revitalizing commercial districts across 100 New York City neighborhoods. Prior to that, in his role as SBS’s Executive Director of the Business Improvement District Program, he provided oversight and support to the city’s network of BIDs and coordinated the provision of more than $120 million in annual assessment funds to them.
During his earlier tenure with the New York City Economic Development Corporation, he held several positions in the organization’s real estate transaction services and strategic investments groups last serving as Senior Project Manager, where he supported businesses expanding or relocating in New York City and helped commercial and manufacturing businesses to access New York City Industrial Development Agency benefits.
He holds a Master of Urban Planning degree from New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Pittsburgh, and is a Brooklyn resident.
The search process was led by Harris Rand Lusk.