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City honors Greater Jamaica for AirTrain station plans

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The city has given the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation an Award of Merit for its project to develop a business center around the new AirTrain terminal in downtown Jamaica.

Sharon Greenberger, chief of staff to Daniel Doctoroff, deputy mayor for economic development, presented a plaque of recognition to Carlisle Towery, president of Greater Jamaica Monday evening.

The award was among 14 Neighborhood Development Achievement Awards distributed in an outdoor ceremony overlooking the East River and the Triborough Bridge at Gracie Mansion and presided over by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Robert W. Walsh, commissioner of the Department of Small Business Services.

“Our objective these days is to capitalize on the AirTrain, which is to begin service later this year,” said Towery following the presentation. “We are working toward establishing an airport village in Jamaica.”

Awards also went to associations involved in such projects in Manhattan, the Bronx and Brooklyn.

“JFK Corporate Square is an ambitious plan to create a first class, highly visible airport supportive business center around the new AirTrain terminal in Jamaica, Queens,” the Award of Merit said of the Greater Jamaica project.

In 2003, the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation secured $21 million in new market tax credits from the U.S. Treasury to support the development of Tower One, the first major development component of JFK Corporate Square. The group also obtained $12.3 million in federal funding for public improvements in the immediate area of the development site.

The awards, named in honor of the late former Assistant Small Business Services Commissioner Barbara Wolff, are presented to neighborhood organizations that have demonstrated excellence, partnership and creativity in enhancing the city’s business environment and quality of life.

Bloomberg opened the ceremony by welcoming the honorees and audience to Gracie Mansion, the official Manhattan home of New York City mayors for more than 60 years, and telling of its history.

“Building great neighborhoods happens by building great partnerships,” said Bloomberg. “I am delighted to recognize the creative work of these fine organizations who have worked collaboratively with government and small businesses to increase opportunity and improve the quality of life in neighborhoods throughout our city.”

Reach contributing writer Philip Newman by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 136.

Posted 7:22 pm, October 10, 2011
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