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Officials gather for ground-breaking of huge Jamaica residential building

Groundbreaking celebration for The Crossing at the Jamaica Station
TimesLedger Newspapers
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Around a hundred people came out to celebrate the ground-breaking of The Crossing, a massive 26-story residential building, at Jamaica Station Tuesday.

The two-tower development at 148-10 Archer Ave. includes 669 affordable housing units, a communal area, retail space and a 187-spot parking garage for the Downtown Jamaica area.

This is the largest private investment in the downtown neighborhood and the construction of the 773,000 square-foot project will be completed in 2019.

Some of the people who presided over the ceremony included Greater Jamaica Development Corporation President & CEO Hope Knight, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-Jamaica), Councilman I. Daneek Miller, and BRP Companies Co-founder Meredith Marshall.

“This started over 4 1/2 years ago, when I met Justin [Rodgers] from the Greater Jamaica Development Gala, the night of Hurricane Sandy,” Marshall said. “Two other developers that were asked to invest rejected being a part of the project. “Why not Jamaica, why not now? This area is diverse economically, ethnically, and has everything that a developer will want.”

Marshall believes that he would not have gotten the project launched on time, within the budget, without the day-to-day work being done by Knight.

“Greater Jamaica did a new market tax credit execution using every tax credit known to man,” Marshall said.“We pushed this to the limit to make this job work.”

With additional help from Gov. Andrew Cuomo, through the vice president of Multi-Family Homes Initiatives within the New York States Homes and Community Renewal Department, $2.5 billion was secured for a five-year comprehensive plan in the 2018 budget of the state Legislature.

“Specifically here at The Crossing each year it will be provided $5 million in local housing program funding and $750,000 in annual state loans and housing funds,” said Jason Pearson, vice president of HCR.

Fighting to keep the project affordable were Meeks and Miller.

“This is the largest African-American investment in the country ever, and it’s only the beginning,” Miller said of BRP Companies and its co-founder Marshall, whose team invested $407 million into the project.

“We’ve proved that while others fled, we’ve stayed here and sustained this community,” Miller said. “There will be a reward for that. We will make sure that the next generation will have an opportunity to grow. I’m very excited for our community to see these faces and these shovels going into the ground and seeing that it comes from within.”

Together, Meeks through the federal government and Miller by securing Title 11 Fair Housing protection were able to make sure that 224 of the units will remain affordable forever.

“All in all, this signifies a great renaissance and that great things are happening in Jamaica,” said Miller.

Also aiding in this project were Goldman Sachs representative Margaret Anadu, Steve Smith and Andy Cohen of BRP, Rev. Floyd Flake of Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral, state Sen. James Sanders (D-South Ozone Park), Community Board 12 Chair Adrienne Adams, and NYCHPD Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer.

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

Updated 12:32 am, July 10, 2018
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Reader feedback

Joe Moretti from Jamaica says:
So the powers that be think this is the saving grace for Jamaica and I would like one of them to explain how. I mean take in consideration these items: 1.The area surrounding the LIRR station, directly across from this mega development is filled with homeless people, druggies, drug dealers and other assorted crap, human and non-human. 2.More and more homeless shelters, hotels turned homeless shelter and supportive housing are popping up all over the Jamaica area.
3.One of the biggest polluters and worst business neighbors, Royal Waste, which is the cause of major truck issues 24/7 is housed right in the downtown area.
4. Auto body Shops which are number two bad neighbors who have taken over public streets and sidewalks with their junked and unlicensed vehicles are EVERYWHERE in the community.
5. Illegal garbage dumping is a MAJOR PROBLEM in the area.
6. The streets and sidewalks suck, most are in poor conditions.
7. Traffic congestion is a mess with buses, dollar vans, dollar cabs, livery cabs, green cabs and trucks, not too mention the awful double parking on Jamaica Ave alone.
8. Tons of litter caused by the low-class ghetto slobs of the area.
9. Awful slaughterhouses in the downtown area.
10. Drug places keep popping up in the community that seem to serve people from outside the area, including Long Island and those folks bring more issues to the community, hanging out, tossing litter, making noise, etc.
11. The local parks from Rufus King Park to Major Mark Park are a refuge for homeless, drunks, druggies and both have a major litter problem.
12. Jamaica Center Station is a cesspool and a homeless encampment, drug dealing place and other ghetto nonsense.

So explain, how The Crossing, is going to improve the community, while the above crap still exists.

“the units will be affordable to families making as little as $24,000 to others making a moderate middle-class income.”

First off a family that makes $24,000 cannot live in a low moderate city with such a income, why the hell would you be in super expensive NYC, but unless THE CROSSING gives out handbooks called, “The Deconstruction of Ghetto Slobs, How to be Civilized, Respectful & Clean Neighbors in Three Easy Steps” for the folks moving into The Crossing, expect the same old mess.

Putting ghetto slobs into a nice apartment building without changing their behavior is just, well, ghetto slobs in a nice apartment building.

Maybe the crew from Queens Borough Hall and the local elected officials should have taken their shovels after the photo op a few blocks north for some much needed cleaning.

Its THE CROSSING vs GHETTO SLOBS, Round 1.

https://cleanupjamaicaqueens.wordpress.com/
April 27, 2017, 6:37 am
Joe Moretti from Jamaica says:
“We’ve proved that while others fled, we’ve stayed here and sustained this community,” Miller said. “There will be a reward for that.
---------------------------------

Exactly HOW have you all sustained this community. Have any of you actually walked all over the entire Jamaica area and looked: poisonous polluting Royal Waste dumped in the downtown area obviously approved a decade ago by some of those same leaders to open up shop in a residential area, illegal garbage dumping all over, tons of litter dropped by so many slob residents, auto body shops take over of public sidewalks and streets especially on Merrick Blvd, major traffic congestion from too many buses (many broken and leaky), dollar vans, dollar cars, livery cabs, green cabs and TONS OF TRUCKS, illegal truck driving on residential streets, Illegal overnight commercial parking of trucks and more nonsense than you can shake a stick at.

Yep, you really know how to sustain a community. Let's face it you NOT sustaining is one predatory developers came to Jamaica to begin with. If the community was well taken care of and did not look like a ghetto mess, there would be no need for all of this.

https://cleanupjamaicaqueens.wordpress.com/
April 27, 2017, 6:43 am
yshaggy from jamaica says:
Oh yeah, people from all over are going to be running, not towards this place but from away from it, like the hotel that was built on Liberty ave, I have often asked myself who would have reason to stay there and why, is it a write off.
April 27, 2017, 12:01 pm

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