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Postponed Jamaica gala set for Nov. 29 at JFK

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After putting off its 2001 gala following the World Trade Center disaster, the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation is set to host a party in honor of Gov. George Pataki and the consortium that built the new $1.6 billion International Arrivals Terminal at JFK Airport.

The non-profit organization will also recognize Queens Borough President Claire Shulman and City Councilman Archie Spigner (D-St. Albans) “whose roles in revitalizing and developing Jamaica have been pivotal,” said Tazewell Smith, chairman of Greater Jamaica. Both Shulman and Spigner will be leaving office at the end of the year.

The fund-raiser was originally scheduled for Oct. 9, but was postponed until Nov. 29 due to the events of Sept. 11, said Carlisle Towery, president of Greater Jamaica.

With the theme “Celebrating Jamaica’s Link to the World,” the gala will not only take place at the John F. Kennedy International Airport’s new JFK IAT Terminal 4, which opened in May, but will also tie in the benefits expected from AirTrain, which is scheduled to connect JFK with Jamaica in 2003. The $1.9 billion light rail system will provide an eight-minute ride from downtown Jamaica to the Airport.

“Our gala theme, honorees and setting all emphasize the favorable economic impact on southeast Queens and the developments we are confident will come to Jamaica Center from improvements at JFK, AirTrain and AirTrain’s Jamaica Terminal,” said Tazewell Smith, chairman of Greater Jamaica.

In May, Greater Jamaica unveiled its “Vision for Jamaica Center,” which includes a traffic plan, open spaces for parks and new businesses around Jamaica Station, where the AirTrain terminal is now under construction. Its plan includes a proposal for a hotel to be built above the new AirTrain terminal and a 10-story office building to be erected directly across the street.

In October, Greater Jamaica designated LCOR Inc. to develop the $90 million, 300,000-square-foot tower. Another honoree at the gala will be Kurt Eichler, the executive vice president of LCOR, who served as a committee member of the JFK IAT consortium, which also included Schiphol USA LLC and Lehman Brothers, Inc.

“JFK’s new International Arrivals Terminal represents the first time in American history that a private consortium of non-airline entities has taken over the design, construction and management of an airline terminal,” Smith said.

John Cavanagh, vice chairman of AMEC, will be leading the ceremonies with David Neeleman, chief executive officer of JetBlue Airways, and Charles Gargano, vice chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

The gala runs from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at JFK International Air Terminal 4. In keeping with the global theme, a buffet dinner featuring dishes from around the world will be served. For more information, or to obtain tickets, call Lorelei Enterprises at 212-838-2660, Ext. 13.

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

Posted 7:28 pm, October 10, 2011
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