SO WHAT GOOD ARE GRANTS TO IMPROVE STOREFRONTS IN JAMAICA, WHEN MORE & MORE PROBLEMATIC HOMELESS SHELTERS KEEP GETTING DUMPED HERE BY THE DOZENS

One step forward for Jamaica and THREE STEPS BACK, that is the motto of the Jamaica Now NON-ACTION PLAN. You cannot put a small band-aid over a gaping wound and not disinfect it, otherwise it will never heal right and get infected, which is pretty much what is going on with throwing various amounts of money (and really compared to say other parts of NYC, not really much) on the so-called “revitalization of Jamaica” when the root problems in Jamaica are not being addressed or corrected.

East Village Thompkins Square Park in the 80’s. Could this be the future of Jamaica’s Rufus King Park.

We already have seen what $2.2 million dollars has done for Rufus King Park for upgrades including fixing up the Pavilion. The Pavilion and the rest of the park have become an outdoor homeless shelter with large amounts of homeless & drug addicts, plus mounds of garbage, not unlike Tompkins Square Park in the East Village during the 80’s where the park was pretty much Needle & Homeless Shelter Park where that park’s bandstand was filled with homeless. I mean what good is putting $2.2 million dollars into upgrades for this park, when over 26 homeless shelters have been dumped into the Jamaica area, not counting group homes and hybrid hotel/homeless shelter like the Comfort Inn on 162 St in downtown Jamaica and the homeless are flocking to the “new & improved” Rufus King Park.

Downtown Jamaica Comfort Inn. Worker inside told me that 3 floors are for hotel guests and three floors are for homeless. Nothing like being greeted at a hotel than by a half naked homeless man sitting in hot weather.

Bad Mexican Hombres drinking in public, white white boy in background, cuts up some drugs. A few blocks from where Mayor and crew were doing their bullshit publicity stunt.

Damn, that white boy in the back is cutting up some good shit.

Quality of life in Jamaica, which was never great to begin with, has gotten much worse in the past year alone with the dumping of problematic homeless shelters into the area, homeless that come from outside Jamaica to boot. Put in more drug clinics to attract addicts from all over including Long Island and you have a recipe for disaster NOT IMPROVEMENT OR REVITALIZATION, especially since these homeless shelters have little security or services for those folks, but are rather just a warehouse to dump them.

I mean what type of downtown planning is this or is this really any type of planning at all. I mean the model of one step forward, three steps back is called FAILURE.

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From DNAInfo New York:

City Grants Aim to Boost Storefronts in Downtown Jamaica

By Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska | July 25, 2017 5:43pm

 Several shops along Sutphin Boulevard got a makeover last year thanks to a city grant seeking to beautify the area and attract more shoppers.

Several shops along Sutphin Boulevard got a makeover last year thanks to a city grant seeking to beautify the area and attract more shoppers.View Full Caption

DNAinfo/Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska

QUEENS — Small businesses in downtown Jamaica can now apply for grants allowing them to upgrade their storefronts, as part of the city’s effort to boost the long-neglected neighborhood and increase foot traffic an area that has been undergoing major changes in recent years.

The program, announced recently by Mayor Bill de Blasio, will provide funds to dozens of businesses in the area to improve their signage and window displays through the Department of Small Business Services, the city said.

Small businesses and building owners will be able to receive up to $20,000 to make various upgrades — such as façade restoration, new awnings and exterior painting — with the grants reimbursing up to 75 percent of the improvement cost.

https://neighborhoodsquare.com/embed/story?storyId=822900

“Thriving small business corridors help foster vibrant neighborhoods across our city,” Gregg Bishop, commissioner of the Department of Small Business Services, said in a statement.

“The Jamaica storefront improvement program is investing in this community and will make Jamaica an even better place to live and to run a business,” he noted.

In total, the program will offer $500,000, provided by the city’s Economic Development Corporation, to help up to 30 local businesses.

The grants come to the neighborhood as part of the Jamaica NOW Action Plan, which seeks to revitalize the neighborhood.

Last year, several storefronts on Sutphin Boulevard also got a makeover thanks to a city grant to help beautify the area and attract more shoppers.

Those interested in the storefront improvement program have until Sept. 19 to apply. For more information, email storefronts@sbs.nyc.gov, call 212-513-9276 or visit nyc.gov/storefronts.

 

$10 MILLION DOLLARS TO “REVITALIZE” DOWNTOWN JAMAICA – AND GOD FUCKING LAUGHED SO HARD HE SHIT OUT RUBEN WILLS & REV. FLOYD FLAKE

First off $10 million dollars is NOTHING and cannot revitalize a block, let alone downtown Jamaica. AND how do you revitalize an area when the city keeps dumping homeless shelters, hotels turned homeless shelter, supportive housing and group homes in the area. As of last count there are 26 homeless shelters and this does not count the group homes or the hybrid half hotels/half homeless shelters.

AND what about all the fucking gangs that thrive here, the criminal element, the hood rats and all the low-class ghetto slobs. Might as well flush that fucking 10 million down the shitter along with the $2.2 million for the upgrades to Rufus King Park outdoor homeless shelter and garbage dump.

Damn, that white boy in the back is cutting up some good shit.

Bad Mexican Hombres drinking in public, white white boy in background, cuts up some drugs. A few blocks from where Mayor and crew were doing their bullshit publicity stunt.

Downtown Jamaica Comfort Inn. Worker inside told me that 3 floors are for hotel guests and three floors are for homeless. Nothing like being greeted at a hotel than by a half naked homeless man sitting in hot weather.

FUCKING SCUM HOOD RATS who gang raped a mother of two in Jamaica July 11th/12 and lived in a group home on South Road.

Over a million dollars and you would think this is some little kid playing the slums of Calcutta.

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From Queens Courier:

File photo/QNS
Downtown Jamaica will receive $10 million to revitalize the neighborhood.

As Jamaica continues to grow with initiatives like the Jamaica Now Action Plan, seven projects from the neighborhood will receive their share of the state’s $100 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) to further transform Jamaica.

Governor Andrew Cuomo recently announced the project winners, which will receive a total of $10 million that will go towards revitalizing downtown Jamaica, modernizing infrastructure, and bolstering Queens’ economy by working in conjunction with state agencies and the Regional Economic Development Council.

 “This critical investment in Jamaica’s downtown will help it grow into a major economic hub that boosts small businesses, expands economic opportunity for residents, and draws new residents and visitors to the community,” Cuomo said. “These projects will help transform downtown Jamaica into a bustling neighborhood, spurring economic development and creating a brighter future for residents and workers across the great borough of Queens.”

The winning projects are:

  • Greater Jamaica Development Corporation Co-Working Space: Funds will help create a 10,000-square-foot shared workspace for up to 90 local entrepreneurs and independent professionals at the Moda Building, run by Greater Jamaica Development Corporation (GJDC). The space will provide an affordable, flexible workspace and access to business equipment and services for startup companies, freelancers, and others.
  • Bring High-Speed Broadband to Downtown Jamaica: This will boost Jamaica’s broadband infrastructure to support high-speed service to existing businesses as well as the public. The project will bridge two gaps in the conduit pathway so that new lines are able to be run to Jamaica, providing needed capacity and allowing for the installation of fixed wireless hubs to support Wi-Fi based broadband connectivity and a broadband market.
  • Conversion of Archer Archways – 159th Street into a Public Space: This project will create a public space around the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) underpass at 159th Street. Improvements will include overhead lighting, public art space, seating, and event space.
  • Downtown Jamaica Gateway Improvements: Jamaica Center will be transformed into a downtown gateway with pedestrian space, lighting, and streetscape improvements and enhanced pedestrian space on Parsons Boulevard between Jamaica and Archer avenues.
  • Fund for Dining Options Downtown: Funds to improve the dining options and nightlife activity in the downtown area by establishing a Restaurant Startup Fund as well as an incubator space for new food businesses at the Jamaica Market.
  • Prime Skills Entrepreneurship Fund: Expand the Prime Skills program, an entrepreneurship training program that helps low-income Jamaica residents launch or grow businesses. Funding will support two additional program cohorts, expand mentorship and support to previous program graduates, and provide a fund to purchase equipment for program graduates.
  • Career Prep at Edison High School: Funds will help enhance the Thomas A. Edison Career and Technical Education High School’s nationally recognized Career and Technical Education programs by purchasing new equipment and software that will enable the programs to ensure graduates are job-ready for employment in the tech, design and health care sectors.

“Everyone has long recognized Jamaica’s inherent potential for smart growth, and the 7 winning projects selected under Governor Cuomo’s $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative are critical to Downtown Jamaica’s economic growth and development,” said Queens Borough President Melinda Katz. “This is a concerted, strategic investment toward revitalizing Jamaica’s downtown core by enhancing education, entrepreneurship and public space. The selected projects are also consistent with the vision of the holistic and comprehensive Jamaica NOW Action Plan underway, and will make the area even more attractive to residents, businesses and investors.”

 

A LITTLE JAMAICA CRAP FOR EVERYONE: NYPD, DOS, DOB & ELECTED OFFICIALS – BLOCKED SIDEWALKS, SHADY IRRESPONSIBLE CONSTRUCTION, HOMELESS AND OF COURSE THAT OLD CHESTNUT, GARBAGE

This newsletter by Assembly Member Clyde Vanel was sent via email, but I think Vanel and crew need a serious REALITY CHECK.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the winning projects selected for the neighborhood of Jamaica, Queens in New York City as part of the state’s $100 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative. The DRI aims to transform local neighborhoods across the state into vibrant communities where the next generation of New Yorkers will want to live, work and raise a family. Working together with state agencies and the Regional Economic Development Council, Jamaica, Queens has built a strategic investment plan that identifies catalytic downtown projects consistent with the initiative’s goals.

“This critical investment in Jamaica’s downtown will help it grow into a major economic hub that boosts small businesses, expands economic opportunity for residents, and draws new residents and visitors to the community,” Governor Cuomo said. “These projects will help transform downtown Jamaica into a bustling neighborhood, spurring economic development and creating a brighter future for residents and workers across the great borough of Queens.”

Lieutenant Governor Hochul said, “Jamaica is poised for substantial job and economic growth as the Downtown Revitalization Initiative neighborhood for New York City. The projects announced today will capitalize on Jamaica’s higher education institutions, cultural cornerstones, diversity, and status as a transportation hub to increase its appeal to residents, workers, students and visitors, fueling its growth through career preparation, entrepreneurship programs, business creation and downtown improvements.”

Congressman Gregory W. Meeks said, “Without Governor Cuomo’s dedication and leadership, this project wouldn’t be possible. This $10 million investment will certainly improve the Jamaica community and invigorate our local economy. I congratulate the initial winning projects of the Jamaica, Queens Downtown Revitalization Initiative and I look forward to working with all our partners in building a stronger Jamaica.”

Senator Leroy Comrie said, “The DRI has come a long way in recent years—and it’s all thanks to the small business and civic leaders who have put forth this tremendous effort to realize their vision of what Downtown Jamaica should be. Funding these projects will help us unlock the full potential of the Downtown area. I look forward to continuing this work with local residents, my colleagues, and Governor Cuomo, whom we thank for his leadership.”

Assemblywoman Vivian E. Cook said, “Thanks to Governor Cuomo for providing this wonderful opportunity to revitalize and invigorate Jamaica’s diverse downtown. These projects will not only improve public spaces for everyone to enjoy and spur investment in the area, but also place a premium on preparing the local community for jobs through educational programs, as well as entrepreneurship and workforce training.”

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz said, “Everyone has long recognized Jamaica’s inherent potential for smart growth, and the 7 winning projects selected under Governor Cuomo’s $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative are critical to Downtown Jamaica’s economic growth and development. This is a concerted, strategic investment toward revitalizing Jamaica’s downtown core by enhancing education, entrepreneurship and public space. The selected projects are also consistent with the vision of the holistic and comprehensive Jamaica NOW Action Plan underway, and will make the area even more attractive to residents, businesses and investors.”
 
Jamaica, Queens in New York City
As a vibrant mixed-use community with a central downtown and a multi-modal transit hub, Jamaica, Queens is on the cusp of a renaissance. Downtown Jamaica is experiencing a wave of private and public investments in infrastructure, housing, hospitality, retail and jobs. The DRI will build on existing public and private investments through a comprehensive strategy that will maximize community assets to become an affordable, livable and sustainable mixed-use community for residents, workers and visitors.

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SO NOW TRUTH & REALITY

Rufus King Park: $2.2 million dollars spent for improvements and upgrades, but TRUTH & REALITY is the park has become a major outdoor homeless shelter, drug addict/alcoholic hangout and a huge garbage dump. AND this just across the street where the photo above of the major bullshit clowns stood.

Over in that horrendous South Jamaica, at 165 St & 107 Ave, a block where, of course there is a church, this new construction, which looks to be a three family unit, has the spectacular view of, well, a ghetto garbage dump. While taking these photos,  a real estate agent was showing an Indian family the property and they seemed not bothered by the view, even when I went up to them and told the real estate agent, “So, what is your selling point, the garbage dump next door”. Business went on as usual with not even a blink of an eye.

Wait till you see the fantastic view.

Three blocks from here was the Jamaica historic house, the James Fobb Mansion, which community activist Pamela Hazel, just reported on not that long ago about the illegal garbage dumping that has been going on for years, yet no elected officials seem at all bothered by this and just allow this to continue over and over again, like this is what communities of color are for, DUMPING. Needless to say, two black churches are within two blocks of this historic site.

Another dumping ground (171 St and 104 Ave), where you can easily pick up a slightly used mattress, no home delivery, pick up only.

AND this is why communities like Jamaica and other neighborhoods are being destroyed and looking like shit. The piss poor zone that allows neighborhoods to be totally destroyed by allowing crappy third world apartment buildings with multiple families and an absentee landlord take the place of what once contained a 1 family house, destroying all the green space, crowding an already crowded and overtaxed infrastructure, garbage issues, parking issues and none of our elected officials are doing anything to change this laws. Case in point, at 170-19 89 Ave, where sat a small one family house with much green space, is now becoming a 6 story multifamily apartment building on a  small block of small 1-2 family homes. The woman who owns the brownstone next door and has several side windows, will no longer be able to use the side windows, since this building has built an outside wall smack against her building and completely blocked all her windows on that side, probably the only windows in some of her rooms. She paid for a brownstone with side windows and air, now she has NONE. How the fuck does that happen and why does DOB allow such bullshit. Something tells me if this was Melinda Katz’s house or Gregory Meeks or Leroy Comrie or the Mayor, this would NOT BE ALLOWED.

AND one of the most mind blogging situations that have been going on for years and years, yet still continues again and again. The placement oF junked, unlicensed and licensed vehicles from the Merrick Auto body shops, up on sidewalks, the side streets and the right hand lane of Merrick, which causes a bottle neck of traffic on one of the  busiest streets in Jamaica. The sidewalks were so bad, that I could not even get my bike through some of the double parking on the sidewalks. YET, elected officials say nothing about this mess and even though NYPD does ticket and tow every now and then, the problem keeps going on. WHY, because after decades and years of breaking laws with little consequences, everyone knows they can do whatever they want in Jamaica, block sidewalks, dump illegally, have illegal sidewalk parties,  pimp out 15 year old girls at  HUD Greater Allen Senior Residence and  every other nonsense you can think off. Ironically when I rode my bike a few more blocks from this mess, I saw a NYPD patrol car parked and went over to speak to the two black female officers about what I just saw. As the windows slowly went down and the officers had that shitty looking look on their face that you see at the people who work in the crappy stores on Jamaica Avenue, I preceded to tell them about the cars from the auto shops on the sidewalk. Their response, “And what would you like us to do”? I said, “you are familiar that blocking of sidewalks is illegal and said that this would never happen in Forest Hills”, in which they responded “And what would they do in Forest Hills”? I just shook my head and said “I was hoping something better from the two of you” and then just went on my merry way. AND this is another example why shit is the way it is in this community.  NO PRIDE, NO ACCOUNTABILITY and little enforcing of quality of life issues.

BUT I did get this response back, when I filed a 311 complaint:

Service Request #: C1-1-1433864191
Date Submitted: 07/15/17 3:11:07 PM
Request Type: Illegal Parking
Details: Blocked Sidewalk

Your Service Request was closed.

The Police Department responded to the complaint and with the information available observed no evidence of the violation at that time.

AND this administration’s constantly attempting to tie the hands of the NYPD, the really one agency that actually DOES WORK, serves no purpose, especially in nonsense bullshit communities like Jamaica, which needs the strong arm of the law. Also if that means getting more police in Jamaica, then do it, because $2.2 million dollars thrown at Rufus King Park obviously did nothing and I mean REALLY, $100 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative. What the hell will $100 million dollars actually get you.  Take at least a third of that to get more police officers to focus just on these quality of life issues alone, because $100 million for the downtown revitalization doesn’t go as far as it did 30 years ago. So while you keep putting up all these buildings and other shit, THE MAIN SHIT in the community keeps going on like the Energizer Ghetto Rabbit.

In the meantime, The Daily News front cover had a different variation on Jamaica revitalization.

Up and Coming Jamaica, a community in crisis.

 

THE “CHIPOTLE ARMEGEDDON” STILL CONTINUES AND THE BEST COMMENT ON WHY JAMAICA AVENUE SHOULD HAVE A CHIPOTLE

Who knew that the mention of a Chipotle coming to Jamaica could get some people in a damn tizzy (https://cleanupjamaicaqueens.wordpress.com/2017/05/21/reality-check-folks-chipotle-coming-to-the-ave-is-not-the-end-of-the-world-or-gentrification-it-is-just-a-fucking-chipolte-a-couple-of-notches-above-taco-bell-not-some-fancy-5-star-french/). Wish there was this much reaction to the garbage strewn, nonsense mess that is what Jamaica seems to be about (which is one reason for the development), but that, not a peep from the crew, but attempts at improving this ghetto run down area just slightly has hood rat panties in an uproar.

Since I posted this, on the Clean Up Jamaica Queens Facebook Page, 1,258 folks were reached, 3,312 had reactions, comments & shares combined with 756 comments on the shared. Damn, it is a Chipotle, not a cure for cancer or the end of the world. Even though there were plenty of negative comments (mostly from the young crew), overall, the majority of people found this new bit of info in a positive light, even though some people seemed to be more stuck on the term “Downtown Jamaica” as opposed to the hood phrase, “The Ave”, which I have not heard it called that since I moved here several years ago. BUT get over a damn name folks, before some of you coined it the ghetto “The Ave”, back in the pre-garbage strewn days it was just Jamaica Avenue before it became ghettoized.

But speaking of shared comments, this happened to be the best one on Clean Up Jamaica Queens Facebook on WHY we should have a Chipotle here in Jamaica, Downtown Jamaica, Jamaica Avenue, The Ave or DoJam.

Sight of the new Chipotle in Jamaica at corner of Jamaica Avenue & 160 Street

I mean… I’m biased in this situation because Chipotle is my everything. But, what is a Downtown Jamaica? #SouthsideJamaicaQueens  In addition, call me oblivious, but what is wrong with a little gentrification? So, you guys would really rather have FOUR stripper shoe stores than 3 stripper shoe stores and a Chipotle?  I’m just saying .

REALITY CHECK FOLKS: CHIPOTLE COMING TO “THE AVE” IS NOT THE END OF THE WORLD OR “GENTRIFICATION”, IT IS JUST A FUCKING CHIPOLTE, A COUPLE OF NOTCHES ABOVE TACO BELL, NOT SOME FANCY 5 STAR FRENCH RESTAURANT – GET OVER IT

OH MY FUCKING GOD.  While my recent post about the opening of Chipotle in downtown Jamaica (that some hate that term) on the Ave  (https://cleanupjamaicaqueens.wordpress.com/2017/05/19/chipotle-planning-to-open-in-downtown-jamaica-on-the-ave/) had many liking that idea, there were, of course (it’s Jamaica), those who thought a 5 star fancy French Restaurant with valet parking was coming and that it was the end for Jamaica and major gentrification. One commented “They shutting Down The Ave

REALITY CHECK FOLKS, it is only a fucking Chipotle. A CHIPOTLE, owned by McDonald’s and a two notches above Taco Bell and a notch below AppleBee’s. Probably the same folks who were outraged that how dare an Applebee’s come into the  hood and ruin “The Ave” and all it’s crappiness.

That “Chipotle Armageddon” post on Clean Up Jamaica Queens Facebook page was shared like crazy and some of the Jamaica residents (mostly young) thought it was Armageddon Gentrification.  Many also hated the term “Downtown Jamaica”, which, was a term I coined when I first moved here to Jamaica, because, well, it is the business district with businesses, etc, so I would call it that, then down the road, I noticed the powers that be and developers were using it all the time. Again, get over the use of that, I mean it is a downtown area, small, but a downtown area, never the less. I am partial to “The Ave”, much hipper and cooler, so maybe you don’t want that because then you will notice developers and greedy real estate agency saying “Great apartment location and just a few blocks from  THE AVE, where you can work & play.”

This was one of the top highest posts since this blog was created, with the “Chipotle Armageddon” reaching 1,019 and 1,957 (readers, comments & shares). While as can be seen, most liked it, there were of course the ones, who cannot stand to see any type of positive progress in Jamaica and look at it as “gentrification”, which when you think about it is a sad state of mentality with some people here, they would be content to see Jamaica continue as a trashed, crime ridden, nonsense, crap retail/food ghetto place. While there are some things I like about the area and I do like that real urban feel (as compared to fake hipster cool), the area does need cleaning up and some sprucing here and there and that means some nice places to balance out the crap like 99 cent stores, cheap electronic stores, tons of beauty supply stores, crappy food choices and flea market type retail.

Anyway, I had to post some of the comments where folks were in an outrage and I found some of them to be funny, but my 5 top ones, be they negative or positive were these ones, of course #1 being my favorite, this person KNOWS REALITY:

  1. Yeah. But until this place gets gentrified, this is going to to be the ghettoest chipotle to exist.
  2. Yay white bitches in the hood
  3. They always gonna run out of chicken
  4. Trash ass food
  5. That’s what they’re putting there?! There’s already an overpriced Taco Bell across the street!

 

 

And here are some of the “doomsday” Facebook comments:

they really making jamaica white again smh

There ain’t no downtown Jamaica

Downtown Jamaica ?🤔🤔 Its Called The Ave

First Starbucks now we getting chipotle to ? 😭

I knew it son I was like they either gonna put a shake shack or chipotle 🤦🏾‍♀️

OOOOOHHH IT’S OVER

DOWNTOWN JAMAICA 😂😂😂😂😂😂

They “downtown ing ” everything right?

Gentrification on the way

The Regentrification of Jamaica Centre, Jamaica has already begun. First Starbucks now Chipotle! Hmmmmm!

opened a Starbucks and now this, I peep the game now

Downtown added to anything other than manhattan means “gentrification, coming to a hood near you”

oh man remember when we used to joke about a chipotle on the ave…it’s really happening 😩😩😩😩

The part that’s killling me is they said downtown Jamaica.
They shutting Down The Ave
Nah the Dallas BBQs that’s going to be on parsons is going to shut down the Ave

Stop trying to gentrify Jamaica Queens.

Just stop. 🙄🙄

Downtown Jamaica. Stoppppp

Tf is going on here

Gentrification

Yeah. But until this place gets gentrified, this is going to to be the ghettoest chipotle to exist.

If they add a chik fila it’s gonna get noticeably gentrified real quick

 

Gentrification. They trynna fix the area up so more white people will invest in it and push the minority’s out

 

If I see one more post abt down town Jamaica. Mother fucker this isn’t manhattan it’s called the fucking ave dick heads. On another note cool chipotle gone be over there. Still another sign of gentrification

 

Right lmao tryna make it sound sophisticated n shit

 

The bar is set high as to the people who live there set it high enough to be gentrified no? so please STFU… when it comes to knowing what is bad and what is good for a community…last time I checked the places that had Chipotle or a trader joes…there was less and less black folk to be found… so shove all that 1…

HERE WE GO AGAIN WITH DOWNTOWN JAMAICA “THE NEXT HOT SPOT” COMPARING JAMAICA TO THE NEXT ATLANTIC YARDS – REALLY

Take this bullshit with a grain of salt, considering where is it coming from, “Hotel Business”. Do I believe Jamaica will some day change, probably, but that is way way down the road, way down the road.

Since this article tends to focus on hotel growth, I did not see mentioned the numerous hotels in Jamaica that have been turned into homeless shelters including the Ramada Inn on Hillside Ave and 164th which is a hybrid of hotel and homeless shelter, where recently a man with a machete held his wife and kids living in the “homeless section” hostage for several hours.

In the article:

Hope Knight, president & CEO, GJDC, stressed how important multiple hotels are. “Before GJDC, I was COO of Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone,” she explained. “We spent a lot of time trying to create a hotel market. When I talked to hotel industry experts, they said we needed to have four or five hotels to really create a hub. What’s exciting about Jamaica is there is going to be a hub, and each of those hotels will feed upon each other.”

Hotel Industry Experts, really, there is a name for hotel developers now and that Jamaica needs four or five. NEWSFLASH, we have several that have been turned into homeless shelters and the LIRR Hub at Sutphin and Archer is a hotbed of druggies, criminal activity, homeless and drug dealers, not too mention the beautiful retail choices in the area. GIVE ME A FUCKING BREAK Hope. I know you need to do your job, but my asshole can only take so much fucking bullshit smoke up it.

Also in the article:

Rob MacKay, director of public relations, marketing & tourism, Queens Economic Development Corp., noted that Jamaica could be very much like Long Island City. MacKay stressed the importance of safety. “Jamaica is safer than it’s been in my lifetime.” Xu agreed, calling it a family neighborhood.

And let me guess, Rob MacKay does not live in Jamaica.

Okay need to head to the bathroom to relieve all this bullshit smoke that is clogging me up.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m8PCHRMJ23Y

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From Hotel Business:

Is Downtown Jamaica, Queens, the next hot spot?

Tuesday December 15th, 2015 – 2:48PM

JAMAICA, NY—Travel guide publisher Lonely Planet named Queens County the No. 1 Best in the U.S. 2015 destination to visit, which is reflected in the reinvention of neighborhoods like Long Island City and Flushing. But, will Downtown Jamaica soon join them?

Dena Libner, director of communications & external affairs, NYC & Company, put this into perspective for attendees at a recent meeting of the members of Greater Jamaica Development Corporation (GJDC), a nonprofit that plans and advances responsible development to revitalize Jamaica. “Brooklyn was named Lonely Planet’s top U.S. destination in 2005, and we all know the development and extraordinary growth that happened the decade after that,” she said. “It’s a precursor.”

Arthur Fefferman, president, AFC Realty Capital, Inc., agreed with Libner’s assessment. “The forecast is Jamaica will be the next Atlantic Yards [the development in Brooklyn that was renamed Pacific Park and includes the Barclays Center and Long Island Rail Road’s Atlantic Terminal],” he said.

Certainly, hotel development is currently happening in Downtown Jamaica. According to GJDC, not long ago, this neighborhood was home to fewer than 400 hotel rooms; now, there are almost 2,000 rooms in various stages of development. “The borough of Queens is the most active hotel market outside of Manhattan, according to STR,” said Justin Rodgers, managing director, real estate and economic development, GJDC. “In Downtown Jamaica, there are currently six properties in operation for a total of 409 rooms. In the new-construction pipeline for hotels, there are 10 hotels planned in the next year, which will produce 1,953 rooms.”

Last May, a 74-room Comfort Inn opened between Jamaica and 89th Aves. That month, developer Chris Xu also started construction on a 16-story, dual-branded Marriott Courtyard and Fairfield Inn & Suites. He is also planning a SpringHill Suites on Queens Blvd. Ampiera Group is expected to begin construction later this year on a 179,000-sq.-ft. mixed-use project that includes a 242-key hotel. In July, Able Management teamed up with AFC Realty Capital to develop a $54-million, 24-story, 225-room Hilton Garden Inn, which will break ground soon.

According to GJDC, there are several other projects in various stages of planning: a 155-key Four Points by Sheraton; a 49-key Sleep Inn; a 283-key property, as well as a 48-key hotel and an 85-key hotel that have both yet to be branded, all from Pride Hospitality Group; and a site with three hotels—a Wyndham Garden, a La Quinta Inn & Suites and a Country Inn & Suites—from developer Chandresh Patel.

Hope Knight, president & CEO, GJDC, stressed how important multiple hotels are. “Before GJDC, I was COO of Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone,” she explained. “We spent a lot of time trying to create a hotel market. When I talked to hotel industry experts, they said we needed to have four or five hotels to really create a hub. What’s exciting about Jamaica is there is going to be a hub, and each of those hotels will feed upon each other.”

“Having three or four hotels is much better than having one hotel because it creates a critical mass,” agreed Fefferman. “It brings more people, shopping and restaurants.”

Fefferman noted that the redevelopment of Downtown Jamaica is a coming together of a number of forces that were years in the making. “Nothing of any significance got developed, and the primary reason is land control. It was all small, individual parcels, no major ownership,” he said. “The second reason is the zoning. There was no comprehensive zoning plan that provided for high-density development. As a result, you couldn’t do anything of significance around Jamaica Station.”

Fefferman credited GJDC for helping to solve both problems. “Greater Jamaica obtained land control of significant parcels around the station and conducted an RFP for developers to come in with their proposals as to what they will develop,” he said. GJDC also joined with the LIRR, the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) and the Port Authority to get approval for a master plan that “allows for high-density development, much in the same way as what happened at Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn,” he said.

Though development is happening, Knight doesn’t foresee gentrification in Jamaica. “When you look at the parcels that are being developed, in most cases, you didn’t have residents living at those locations, so there aren’t people being moved out,” she said.

Both Xu and Fefferman also noted that land costs in Jamaica are significantly cheaper than Manhattan, though the former said development costs are comparable. Xu also noted that many of the developments are connected to major brands, which will help the properties. “I’m building Marriott hotels,” he said. “Courtyard, Fairfield and SpringHill Suites are good brands.”

Xu highlighted the importance of transportation. “The reason I’m building hotels in Downtown Jamaica is, with the transportation, it’s very convenient,” he said, noting that its 3.5 miles to JFK International Airport with access on the AirTrain, and 20 minutes to Manhattan on the LIRR. “There’s also the subways,” he said. “It’s very good for the hotel business.”

Fefferman agreed. “After Grand Central and Penn Station, Jamaica is the third most important transportation hub in the New York metro area,” he said. “For example, the Hilton Garden feasibility is strong because you now have a hotel right at the transportation center that allows you to be at the terminals within 15 minutes. It’s more convenient in many ways than actually staying at any of the hotels near JFK itself.” According to GJDC, the area has seen an increase in subway and AirTrain ridership. In 2014, 6.5 million people rode the AirTrain to/from Jamaica Station, up 18% from the 5.5 million users in 2011.

Additionally, Downtown Jamaica is seeing other kinds of development as well. BRP Companies is building The Crossing, which will consist of 100,000 sq. ft. of retail and community facilities, and 580 units of mixed income affordable housing. It is expected to be complete by Q1 2018. Knight highlighted the importance of this. “Amenities such as shops, restaurants and other entertainment venues are crucial to attract hotel visitors to the area,” she said.

All agreed that Jamaica would likely see international guests with a longer length of stay looking for a more affordable price than Manhattan hotels. “Citywide ADR averages were $295 in 2014,” said Rodgers. “Currently, here in Downtown Jamaica, they’re about $130.”

Rob MacKay, director of public relations, marketing & tourism, Queens Economic Development Corp., noted that Jamaica could be very much like Long Island City. “Their market is mostly long-term stay, and a lot of them are coming because [Long Island City is] only one subway stop from Manhattan but we are about $150 cheaper a night,” he said. “If you’re staying five or six nights, that’s a lot of money. Jamaica hotels will probably be a little bit cheaper than Long Island City.”

Libner also stressed the guest’s desire for authentic neighborhoods. “For international visitors who are here longer, they want to see more of the city, so they go to what they deem to be the way New Yorkers live,” she said. “On a second visit, they’re even more likely to do so. That growing interest in experiencing a destination the way locals [do] pushes visitors beyond Manhattan.”

MacKay stressed the importance of safety. “Jamaica is safer than it’s been in my lifetime.” Xu agreed, calling it a family neighborhood.

Knight pointed to the Jamaica Now Action Plan, which the city announced last April. It outlines 21 strategic actions for the revitalization and growth of Jamaica, by providing workforce training and small business support, initiating new mixed-use development anchored by affordable housing, and improving the livability of the neighborhood through investments in safety measures, green spaces and more. The actions, 16 of which will be launched and implemented in the next three years, represent approximately $153 million in current public funding.

“Many of the projects are going to support this hotel development,” said Knight. “Ones like the marketing and branding campaign are certainly going to support the hotel development effort; investment in infrastructure around the station area is going to help make improvements to the pedestrian experience and [make it] more friendly to visitors.”

“Part of the plan of the city calls for some streetscaping, landscaping, lighting and high security to make it very attractive,” agreed Fefferman. “That’s what the new Jamaica is all about.”

However, he noted that one of the area’s biggest hurdles is “getting people to recognize the old Jamaica to the new Jamaica,” he said. “That all comes with having the infrastructure and development in place. People have a perception of Jamaica, but that’s it’s easy to change that.”

“There is a tremendous amount of development activity happening in this community on a very large scale. It will be a compelling destination given its access to the airport and the transportation options,” concluded Knight. “I believe that Jamaica is a community in tremendous transition. It’s in the early cycle of revitalization, and a neighborhood rich in ethnic and economic diversity. HB

—Nicole Carlino

 

MONDAY, MARCH 20 @ 6PM DOWNTOWN HARVEST ROOM – DOWNTOWN JAMAICA TRANSPORTATION STUDY PUBLIC MEETING – YET AGAIN, BUT DOES ANYTHING CHANGE OR JUST MORE SMOKE BLOWN UP YOUR ASS

If you can attend, come March 20th and be prepared to have massive amounts of smoke blown up your ass by Department of Transportation. I attended this same thing back in 2015 and brought up issues of illegal truck driving on residential streets and the need for signs to be posted on problematic areas, poor conditions of roads in the downtown area, especially 89th Ave from 169 to Parsons Blvd (and Parsons) and other issues, that to this day are still fucking problems. I will plan on attending and to be in rare form.

They do have eats there though, at least they did last time I went.

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Downtown Jamaica Transportation Study: Public Meeting

March 20 @ 6:00 pm8:00 pm

Free