Jamaica, where Queens meets the world, is primed for extensive redevelopment. The area’s vast transportation network, including the AirTrain and the Long Island Rail Road, will be leveraged to create a mixed-use central business district around the Jamaica Station complex, which will include millions of square feet of commercial space, residential units, and retail.
The Jamaica Rezoning Plan
The Jamaica Rezoning Plan, approved in September 2007, was one of the largest efforts in the City’s history, addressing zoning updates to approximately 368 blocks. The plan aims to balance respect for Jamaica's unique low-scale buildings and neighborhood feel while providing a mix of business, community and residential growth in the Downtown area.
The Jamaica Plan envisions vibrant new gateways at the AirTrain/Jamaica Station.
Jamaica Infrastructure Improvements
Jamaica is a major transportation hub for Queens, Long Island, and all of New York City. By making the Jamaica Station/Air Train Terminal easily accessible for users, safer and more pleasant these projects will enhance and increase ridership on Air Train, Long Island Rail Road, and New York City Transit.
The Jamaica Infrastructure Projects are three key infrastructure improvements that will create attractive new gateways to Downtown Jamaica. These projects will set the stage for re-development and leverage the PANYNJ's $350M investment in the 2003 Air Train Terminal at Jamaica Station.
The Jamaica Infrastructure projects represent $90M of City, State, and Federal investment in Downtown Jamaica. They are coordinated and managed by NYCEDC in partnership with Greater Jamaica Development Corporation. Through an extensive community outreach process with Community Board 12 and other stakeholders, they were approved in July 2007.
The Jamaica Infrastructure projects will create new, permanent jobs as well as construction jobs. The projects are part of a suite of inter-modal enhancements that will create vibrant new gateways to Downtown Jamaica and the AirTrain/Long Island Railroad Station complex.
Atlantic Avenue Extension will create three new Park areas (Gateway Park) totaling 0.86 acres. Station Plaza will create new Public Plazas, improve pedestrian subway and bus access, and decrease roadway congestion adjacent to the LIRR Jamaica Station/AirTrain Station.
The Sutphin Underpass, Atlantic Avenue Extension, and Station Plaza projects, collectively, will provide new streetscapes for six blocks in Downtown Jamaica at or near the AirTrain/LIRR terminal.
In addition to the City of New York, key project partners are listed below:
- Hon. Gregory W. Meeks
- Hon. Melinda Katz
- Hon. Daneek Miller
- Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA)
- New York State Department of Transportation
- New York City Department of Transportation
- Federal Highway Administration
- Federal Transportation Administration
In Summer 2012 Greater Jamaica Development Corporation completed construction to rehabilitate the Sutphin Underpass. This project creates a more attractive street-level pedestrian experience directly across the street from the Air Train Terminal. The project illuminates the underpass and creates 5,500 square feet of new retail space, serving area users with goods and services.
The Atlantic Avenue Extension
The Atlantic Avenue Extension will provide physical improvements by extending Atlantic Avenue to meet 95th Avenue, creating one-way streets on both 94th and 95th Avenues, which will ease traffic into and departing from the Station area. The project will also create Gateway Park, a new neighborhood open space. Design is complete and construction is expected to begin in 2015.
Station Plaza Redevelopment
To decrease traffic congestion and create a safer pedestrian environment, Archer Avenue will be realigned and widened to create wider sidewalks and turning lanes for bus traffic. The project will also create new bus loading and off-loading lanes that will ease congestion at peak hours. In addition, subway exits currently located on Sutphin Boulevard will be moved off the sidewalks and into newly created public plazas. Design is underway, and a groundbreaking is expected in 2017.
Agency Investment in Downtown Jamaica
Since the Jamaica Plan was passed in Fall 2007, the City of New York has been working in a rapidly changing economic environment to follow through on commitments made during the rezoning process. The Plan identified challenges and opportunities within downtown Jamaica. In partnership with Southeast Queens’ elected officials, Community Boards and community-based organizations, the City of New York has worked since the rezoning to ensure the City’s ongoing commitment to Downtown Jamaica.
Since Fall 2007, Federal, State and City agencies have invested more than $230 Million in Downtown Jamaica.