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Sheraton Hotel Planned for Downtown Jamaica

 A rendering of a new hotel planned for 147-43 94th Avenue in Jamaica.
A rendering of a new hotel planned for 147-43 94th Avenue in Jamaica.
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Andrew R. Levenbaum, P.E.

QUEENS — Jamaica, a major transportation hub serving thousands of tourists traveling between JFK Airport, New York and Long Island, may be getting two new hotels near its AirTrain Station soon, officials said Thursday.

A number of new hotels have recently opened for travelers in the area, including a Ramada on Hillside Avenue, a Sleep Inn on Liberty Avenue and a Quality Inn on 94th Avenue.

One of the hotels, Four Points by Sheraton, is planned for 94th Avenue, near 147th Street, only one block away from the station, said Andrew Levenbaum from Andrew Robert Levenbaum, P.E., an architectural firm hired for the project, at the annual meeting of Sutphin Boulevard Business Improvement District.

Levenbaum said the 150-room hotel has been planned for three years, but the project had been put on hold after the economic crisis made the financing challenging. But with the economy on the rebound, the project can now move forward, he said.

Now, if the project receives the necessary financing and approvals, it should be a go in the near future.

“There is a good chance that we’ll have the shovel in the ground by the end of this year,” said Levenbaum, adding that the hotel is scheduled to be complete by the end of 2014.

There are also plans for a hotel that would be located directly across the street from the AirTrain and LIRR station on Sutphin Boulevard and 94th Avenue, south of the tracks, said Andrew Manshel, executive vice president of the nonprofit Greater Jamaica Development Corporation.

The development corporation is currently negotiating with several developers to bring a full-service hotel that would offer 150 to 250 rooms and extensive food services, Manshel said.

North of the tracks, on the corner of Sutphin Boulevard and Archer Avenue, there are plans to build a project with retail space on the ground floor and 500 mixed-income housing units above the stores, he added.

The details, Manshel said, are still being worked out. One of the obstacles is building a large project with all the railroad infrastructure in the area, including electrical equipment, he added.

There are also plans to bring a major department store to 168th Street, between 90th and Jamaica avenues.

The opening of JFK’s AirTrain in 2003 began to promote change in the neighborhood, which is only minutes from the airport and has access to a number of subway lines as well as the Long Island Rail Road.