A new residential/retail development planned for downtown Jamaica
Greater Jamaica Development Corporation has opened a request for proposals to build on this site in downtown Jamaica.
By Patrick Donachie

A development group in downtown Jamaica is reissuing a request for proposals to build a massive new residential/retail space in the area, one of several planned developments for the neighborhood.

The site is owned by Greater Jamaica Development Corp., which was formed in 1967 and shepherds development plans in the downtown Jamaica area. The development in question would be a 50,000-square-foot development, with a ground floor retail space of 75,000 square feet and 250 mixed-income residential units, some of which the corporation said would be set aside for artists.

The site is located at 168th Street and 90th Avenue. The property is currently a parking lot.

“This site presents a tremendous opportunity to create a transformative project that will be key in Jamaica’s resurgence,” said Hope Knight, the corporation’s president and CEO. “This development has the potential of bringing a much-needed general merchandise store and family-style restaurant back to the area to support the growing population and volume of daily shoppers that is at an all-time high.”

A block south from the proposed new development, the city Economic Development Corp. will likely decide on a developer in the fall for a sizable mixed-use development. That space is currently occupied by parking lots used by the NYPD and was the site of protests last month. Members of the community called for the eventual residential units to be affordable relative to the area income and expressed anxiety that increased development in the area might drive prices up and force out long-term residents.

Greater Jamaica Development originally partnered with Blumenfeld Development Group in 2013 to develop a 160-square-foot retail store with an accompanying parking garage at the site on 90th Avenue. In February, Knight announced that the corporation would issue a new general request for proposals, with Blumenfeld no longer on board as the site’s developer.

According to the corporation, the proposal remains the same as the original designs for the vacant space.

The development is part of an area included in downtown Jamaica’s 2007 rezoning that allowed for taller development and a greater array of residential and/or retail uses. The corporation announced it would be holding an information session for developers and others interested in the proposal for the new development at some point in mid-October.

The proposals are due by Dec. 2 and the corporation intends to select a developer by the end of the year. The request for proposals can be found on the corporation’s website at gjdc.org.

Reach reporter Patrick Donachie by e-mail at pdonachie@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4573.

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