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Marshall cites biz growth as proof of borough boom

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Borough President Helen Marshall addressed more than 100 Chamber of Commerce members and others vital to the community to speak about the state of business in Queens, including representatives from all 14 community boards."The people in this room keep the wheels of Queens turning. How our businesses go is how Queens goes," Marshall said.The yearly breakfast provides a forum in which Chamber of Commerce members can network with one another and exchange information with the borough president's cabinet.She spoke enthusiastically about the development of Queens, ranging from Arverne-by-the-Sea in the Rockaways to plans to incorporate RKO Keith's landmarked staircase into a new Flushing project to the rezoning of 368 blocks of downtown Jamaica.Marshall called a shopping center-"a crystal tower with an atrium"-to be built near the Jamaica AirTrain station "a really dynamite gem," but added that "the plan may need to be amended because the [neighboring] communities have concerns about it."She pointed out the ongoing construction projects in Long Island City as proof of the borough's strong economy."They've put up a second Citicorp tower and the United Nations Federal Credit Union. There are plans to change Jackson Boulevard and Queens Plaza into inviting thoroughfares, Silvercup [Studios] has obtained final approval for their studio with 150 units of affordable housing," she said.Marshall's speech also focused on major concerns in the borough, such as hospital beds, school crowding and development.Marshall alluded to the Berger Commission report, released in November, which urged closing Parkway Hospital in Forest Hills and merging Peninsula and St. Joseph's Episcopal hospitals in the Rockaways, when she spoke about the study she commissioned by PricewaterhouseCoopers."It shows Queens should have its own health region, Brooklyn too, and shows we need one new hospital in the Rockaways. But we also need one new hospital in western Queens," Marshall said.She was optimistic about creating space in schools in the borough."There are 12,000 seats in design and construction. By the time I leave office, every child will have a seat or have one" on the drawing board, Marshall said.Reach reporter Alex Christodoulides by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 155.

Posted 7:08 pm, October 10, 2011
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