GROUNDBREAKING OCCURS FOR DOWNTOWN REDEVELOPMENT
NEW YORK CITY — Groundbreaking has occurred for Phase I of a $98 million project that will create a commercial district in Downtown Jamaica, located in the Queens borough of New York City. Phase I will redevelop a series of garbage loading docks located on Sutphin Boulevard, directly across from the AitTrain/Long Island Rail Road Jamaica Station entrance, into retail space. Overhead lighting will be installed, the area’s empty spaces will be filled with retail storefronts, and a new sidewalk and roadbed will be installed. In addition, loading zones for bus stops will be widened and signage will be made more visible. The project is being developed by the Greater Jamaica Development Corp. (GJDC). Funding for this phase of the project is being provided by the Federal Transit Administration, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and the Federal Highway Administration by way of the New York City Economic Development Corp. The GJDC will open the bidding process for the project soon; it hopes to achieve a 20 percent participation rate for minority/woman-owned businesses and disadvantaged businesses in the construction and design of the project. The second phase of the Downtown Jamaica project will extend Atlantic Avenue to connect with 95th Avenue, improving access to the train station from the Van Wyck Expressway. A small park will also be constructed. The third phase, known as Station Plaza, will realign the intersection of Archer Avenue and Sutphin Boulevard, and will include a streetscape enhancement. Phase II construction will begin in 2010, with Phase III construction commencing in 2011. Both phases will take approximately 18 months to complete.