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Builder chosen for Sutphin Blvd. tower

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A developer has been selected to construct a 300,000-square-foot tower across the street from the future Jamaica AirTrain station on Sutphin Boulevard, the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation announced last week.

The $90 million tower, which will be developed by LCOR Inc., is a key element of Greater Jamaica’s “Vision for Jamaica Center,” a long-term plan to transform the Sutphin Boulevard area in Jamaica into a transportation mecca.

LCOR plans to complete the office building by 2003, when AirTrain’s Jamaica station opens, said Lee Silberstein, a spokesman for LCOR.

The $1.9 billion AirTrain system is to connect John F. Kennedy International Airport to Jamaica’s Long Island Rail Road station and the J, Z and E subway lines for a trip of about eight minutes.

“AirTrain, scheduled to open here in 2003, will literally connect Jamaica to the world and will enhance the viability of this area as a location for businesses that need access to skilled labor and high-quality, competitively priced office space near the airport,” said Carlisle Towery, president of Greater Jamaica.

Corporation officials said plans for Jamaica’s development were not affected by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Although the airline industry has suffered as a result of the World Trade Center disaster, it is expected to bounce back in the long run, said Greater Jamaica’s communications director, Sam Samuels.

Greater Jamaica’s plan, unveiled earlier this year, includes designs for a 250-room hotel over the AirTrain station and several new office buildings and parking garages to be constructed in the immediate vicinity.

Under the plan, the LCOR buildings will be constructed directly across the street from the AirTrain station on the northeast corner of Sutphin Boulevard at 94th Avenue.

“I am confident that the addition of LCOR to our team will make the new structure happen,” Towery said. “GJDC’s enthusiastic support for AirTrain is based on Gov. Pataki’s confidence that AirTrain is more than just transportation — it is local economic development as well.”

LCOR is a Pennsylvania-based national development company which specializes in large real estate projects. It recently handled JFK’s new Terminal 4.

“The synergy of AirTrain, the global business gateway at JFK and downtown Jamaica’s assets will produce great benefits, supporting local businesses and providing economic opportunity for the community as a whole,” said Kurt Eichler, executive vice-president of LCOR.

Preconstruction work is now under way at the Sutphin Boulevard site and construction should take place over the next eight to 12 months, Silberstein said. LCOR has already talked to tenants who would like to be in the building by 2003, he said.

Reach reporter Betsy Scheinbart by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 138.

Posted 7:25 pm, October 10, 2011
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