The city unveiled a multi-faceted economic development “action plan” to prevent foreclosures, improve streetscapes, create affordable housing, and increase job-training opportunities in Jamaica on Wednesday.
The actions include creating a Jamaica-specific marketing and branding program, expanding free WiFi access via the LinkNYC program, and capital improvements to Rufus King Park and Brinkerhoff Mall Park in St. Albans.
Announced by Small Businesses Services Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer, Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen (above, at podium), and Borough President Melinda Katz, the Jamaica Now Action Plan includes 21 interagency initiatives to revitalize the area, 16 of which will be launched and implemented in the next three years with about $153 million in taxpayer money. Here are some more specifics:
- Streetscape improvements: additional seating, increased plantings, and improved pedestrian circulation on Jamaica Avenue;
- Entrepreneurship: a new program to train and jump-start entrepreneurs with an emphasis on catering, quality dining, and nightlife options;
- Public safety: installation of NYPD security cameras in high-traffic corridors within the 103rd and 113th precincts;
- Jamaica Arts Alliance: form a nonprofit to strengthen collaboration among local artists and existing culture institutions and create large-scale events and public art projects;
- 168th Street garage: unleash a 59,000-square-foot development site for mixed-income housing, retail, and a community center on northeast corner of 93rd Avenue and 168th Street;
- Homeownership and rental units: development of affordable one- to four-family homes, condominiums, cooperatives, and small rental buildings across 11 city-owned sites in South Jamaica;
- Transit hub: create incentives for absentee property owners to activate vacant and derelict sites near the AirTrain/LIRR transit hub for development of new housing, retail, and business incubator space; and
- Facelift: redesign storefronts on Sutphin Boulevard and other commercial streets in the area.
Borough President Katz said she will soon create a new council of local stakeholders who will be charged with insuring implementation of the plans.