You are reading

Elected Officials Form Group to Improve Downtown Jamaica and Spur Economic Growth

Two Queens elected officials have created a new council that aims to address quality of life issues in Downtown Jamaica and spur economic growth in the area. Pictured is Jamaica Avenue (Google Maps)

May 13, 2022 By Michael Dorgan

Two Queens elected officials have created a new group that aims to address quality of life issues in Downtown Jamaica and spur economic growth in the area.

The Downtown Jamaica Improvement Council, which launched Thursday, seeks to bring local stakeholders together to streamline the completion of public projects throughout the district.

The organization was launched to improve the overall state of Downtown Jamaica so it can thrive as a commercial, residential and transportation hub.

The council was established by Queens Borough President Donovan Richards and Councilmember Nantasha Williams, who represents Jamaica. Richards and Williams are co-chairing the council.

The council is comprised of several other elected officials including Rep. Gregory Meeks, State Sen. Leroy Comrie, Assembly Member Alicia Hyndman, City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams, and Council Members Selvena Brooks-Powers and James Gennaro.

Representatives from various city and state agencies also form part of the council including the NYPD, the MTA, the DOT as well as local civic groups, business groups and non-governmental organizations.

“Our Downtown Jamaica Improvement Council will work diligently to fast-track several projects that will improve conditions in Jamaica and make it an even better place to live, work and visit,” Richards said.

“The Council will not rest until Downtown Jamaica reaches its fullest potential.”

The council, Richards said, will address concerns voiced by residents as well as local civic and business leaders with regard to infrastructure, transportation, crime, homelessness and sanitation in Downtown Jamaica.

For instance, the council will work to make changes to the Jamaica Avenue busway as well as identify safety improvements, which could be made at the Jamaica Center and Sutphin Boulevard-Archer Avenue subway stations.

The council will also establish an Open Street on 165th Street and work towards beautifying the Jamaica bus terminal, Richards said.

He said that a grant program for small businesses will be created along with a business incubator.

Willams said that area is one of the most important economic hubs in southeast Queens and plays a vital role in the city’s economy.

“This is an opportunity to improve Downtown Jamaica by leveraging our collective resources… to make sure this vibrant part of our borough is even better than what it already is,” Williams said.

Officials from the governor and mayor’s office are also participating in the council, as are representatives from the Port Authority, Dept. of Sanitation, the New York City Economic Development Corporation, the New York City Department of Small Business Services, Queens Community Board 12, and the Empire State Development Corporation.

Non-governmental stakeholders include the Jamaica Center Business Improvement District (BID), the Sutphin Boulevard BID, the 165th Street Mall Association, the Queens Chamber of Commerce, the South East Queens Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation, York College and the Association for a Better New York.

email the author: [email protected]
No comments yet

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Borough president hears from community members on budget needs throughout Queens

During a two-day public hearing on the mayor’s 2024 preliminary budget, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. listened to testimonies from 14 community board representatives, community stakeholders and members of the public on where the money should be spent in Queens. 

The public hearings were held both in-person and via Zoom on Monday, Jan. 30, and Tuesday, Jan. 31, at Queens Borough Hall. The testimonials will be used to develop the Queens Borough Board’s FY24 preliminary budget priorities in the coming weeks. 

‘He didn’t deserve to die’: Borough President Richards leads emotional candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards held a candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols outside Queens Borough Hall Monday, Jan. 30 after Nichols’ death at the hands of police officers in Memphis, Tenn., made national headlines for the brutality in which the officers beat him.

Almost immediately after news broke about Nichols’ death, the Memphis police officers who beat him to death were fired and charged with murder. The police department released the body cam footage of the fatal beating on Jan. 27, but many people, including some at the vigil, have refused to watch it due to its extremely graphic nature.

Queens Botanical Garden hosts Lunar New Year celebration with globally beloved Miffy

About 4,200 people joined the world-renowned beloved rabbit Miffy to ring in the Year of the Rabbit at Queens Botanical Garden’s Lunar New Year celebration on Saturday, Jan. 28. 

Queens Botanical Garden’s Lunar New Year celebration included a visit from Councilman Shekar Krishnan, who gave remarks, followed by a program of activities for all ages. Attendees enjoyed a lion dance performance, zodiac crafts, demonstrations, lucky plant sales and more. Miffy was in attendance for photos, story time and to greet children throughout the event.

Mets owner Steve Cohen hosts second community visioning session regarding development of area around Citi Field

Hundreds of community residents and leaders gathered at the Piazza Club inside Citi Field to participate in a visioning session regarding the development of a nearby 50-acre lot. This marked the second visioning session New York Mets owner Steve Cohen has hosted at Citi Field in January as he attempts to collect as much community feedback regarding the development as possible.

Attendees of the visioning session went to a series of interactive stations, sharing what mattered most to them when it came to improving the area around Citi Field, including preferred forms of year-round entertainment, ability to access different forms of transportation and attainable local jobs and training. Information and input was collected from the community in how they would like to see the lot utilized. A common theme among many of those who took part in the visioning session was the desire to see something built there that would bring a lot of economic opportunity to the community and provide year-round entertainment.

NewYork-Presbyterian Queens doctor aims to bring awareness to women’s heart health

With February marking the beginning of American Heart Month, a cardiologist from NewYork-Presbyterian Queens Hospital spoke with QNS about the importance of heart health for women.

According to attending cardiologist Dr. Joanna Troulakis, approximately 400,000 women die as a result of cardiovascular diseases each year in the United States. She noted that women have suffered more cardiovascular disease deaths than men in recent years. When it comes to heart attacks, the mortality rate for women is higher than men.

BP launches new advisory panel for youth to become civically engaged in the future of Queens

In an effort to get more young people involved in civics, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards has created a new advisory panel known as the Youth and Young Adult Council to introduce the “youngest and fiercest” community advocates to both community service and organization.

Members of the advisory body will advocate concerns through means of community engagement by participating in one of two cohorts. The first will be made up of high school representatives between the ages of 13 and 17, while the second cohort will be comprised of young adults between the ages of 18 and 25.

‘Where do we go now?’ Michaels set to close its doors in Fresh Meadows next month

The Michaels located at 187-04 Horace Harding Expwy. in Fresh Meadows will be permanently closing its doors on Feb. 23. The announcement that Michaels will be leaving the Fresh Meadows Shopping Center has led to an outpouring of reactions from many community members.

“We know this is disappointing to our customers in Queens, but we hope to continue to serve them at our other locations in New York City or online at Michaels.com,” a spokesperson for Michaels said in a statement to Patch.com.