Photo by Naeisha Rose
New York Secretary of State Rosana Rosado was a guest speaker at the Jamaica Center Business Improvement District’s 38th annual meeting at the Harvest Room located in Jamaica.
By Naeisha Rose

New York Secretary of State Rosana Rosado and members of the Jamaica Center BID who want help to revitalize the downtown region spoke about the progress that the area has made and how much further it had to go at a meeting last wee.

“The Jamaica Center Business Improvement District has not rested on its laurels this past year,” Rosado said at the Harvest Room, located at 90-40 160th St. “The state will directly support the renaissance of Jamaica’s downtown area.”

Executive Director Rhonda Binda spoke about the 3Ts that the BID has been trying to advance in Jamaica.

“Our mission is to enhance, promote, develop and advocate for what is developing at Jamaica,” Binda said. “We’ve been implementing the past few years a 3T strategy that centers around technology, transportation and tourism.”

Binda considers technology to be the most important ground to cover for Jamaica’s growth.

Earlier this year the BID received a commitment from Jukay Hsu, CEO of Coalition for Queens, to train adults in technology. His company teaches coding.

Jamaica resident Saeed Jabbar founded Inclusion, a web design and career skills class that teaches students coding at Queens Central Library, in conjunction with the investment banking firm of Goldman Sachs.

This year Jamaica Avenue will be included in a high-tech study about noise pollution in urban areas with the NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development overseeing it.

Jamaica is involved in three more studies to enhance the area.

“One is the downtown transportation study, the other is a streetscape plan that is under the Jamaica Now initiative, and there is also a Jamaica bicycle plan the DOT is looking at,” Binda said.

Jamaica Now is an enterprise created by Mayor Bill de Blasio and Borough President Melinda Katz to engage the community to find ways to build up its assets.

Councilman I. Daneek Miller (D-St. Albans) and the BID are working on a free LIRR transfer for those that rely on the rails, subway and bus for travel.

Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Hillcrest)secured $1.7 million to give Rufus King Park a face-lift. The park has several concerts a year.

In partnership with the Greater JFK BID, the Jamaica Center BID joined the second annual New York Travel Festival to increase tourism in the area. Jamaica is now included in the nycgo.com webpage, a guide for tourists to navigate the city.

Jamaica welcomed 18 new businesses. Mac Shack, a mac-and-cheese food joint that has 16 Queens’ specific menu items, is owned by Kevin James. It is located at 168-18 Jamaica Avenue.

“It was a no brainer when the opportunity came to come to Queens,” James said. “The community is nice and very diverse.”

Valerie Stevens, director of business services & operations for JCBID, touted the importance of the 14 LinkNYC kiosks that add broadband to Jamaica and wants to bring more to the area.

“Local businesses want to advertise on the Wi-Fi kiosk,” Stevens said. “This will help us leverage them.”

“Jamaica is home to 230,000 people, but in reality what is invested here affects hundreds of thousands of people in New York City,” Rosado said. “We know that revitalizing the area will reverberate throughout the borough, the state and even the country.”

Reach reporter Naeisha Rose by e-mail at nrose@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4573.

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