The Grand Avenue Special Services District (GASSD) was established by Section 37-3 of the New Haven Code of Ordinances on March 24, 2009. Working with the Grand Avenue Village Association (GAVA) and the Economic Development Corporation of New Haven (EDC), the GASSD was established to support the property owners and businesses in the district.
The GASSD runs from the Mill River to the West to the Quinnipiac River to the East, and the district is approximately 1.25 miles long. The purpose of establishing the GASSD was to provide additional services to the property owners which would include keeping the avenue clean, upgrading its beautification, marketing the avenue and addressing any special concerns.
The majority of property owners along the street's commercial corridor created the Grand Avenue Special Services District. Seventy percent of property owners on the commercial stretch of Grand Avenue voted in favor of creating the special services district, also known as a business improvement district. It's the fourth such district in New Haven, joining the Chapel West, Whalley Avenue and Town Green districts. The tax districts generate money that can be used to address communal needs, such as cleaning, graffiti removal and marketing, and they also act to address the needs of business owners and community members. GAVA had been providing many of those services to the area for nine years with the aid of various grants and support from the city.