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City Plans to Open New Business Incubator in Downtown Jamaica

By Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska | November 6, 2013 3:54pm
 New incubator should be “on or proximate to Jamaica Avenue and/or Jamaica Station,” according to EDC.
New incubator should be “on or proximate to Jamaica Avenue and/or Jamaica Station,” according to EDC.
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DNAinfo/Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska

QUEENS — The city is planning to open a business incubator in downtown Jamaica to help boost the neighborhood's economy — the second such project announced in recent days, the Economic Development Corporation said.

The EDC recently issued a request for proposals seeking companies or organizations that would establish a new space for startups and small businesses in the fashion, technology, new media, arts or culinary sectors in the area.

The RFP comes on the heels of the announcement that downtown Jamaica will soon get a tax-free zone for tech startups after York College was selected to become a new center for high-tech businesses, as part of the statewide Start-Up NY program.

“Downtown Jamaica is a thriving retail district, and its diverse business sector and easy accessibility makes it an ideal location for a new business incubator,” said Ian Fried, a spokesman for EDC. “We look forward to hearing from the community to determine what type of space will best serve their needs.”

The agency said the new incubator should be near Jamaica Avenue or Jamaica station, according to the proposal.

Businesses interested in the project would have to find a space for it, attract entrepreneurs and manage the incubator, according to EDC.

The city would provide funds to start the incubator, although the specific amount will be determined after a plan is chosen. For similar projects, including recently opened Staten Island MakerSpace and The Harlem Garage, EDC allocated about $250,000 over the course of three years, the agency said.

Felicia Tunnah, executive director of the Jamaica Center BID, said that "the BID is very supportive of all startups" in the neighborhood where there have been a number of new retail stores, restaurants, housing developments and hotels in recent years. "We definitely want to see things thrive here," she added.

Proposals are due by Dec. 19. Those interested can participate in an information session on Friday, Nov. 8, at 1 p.m. at the NYCEDC offices at 110 William St., 6th floor, New York. RSVP by email to JamaicaWorkspaceRFP@nycedc.com.