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Massive Mixed-Use Complex in Downtown Jamaica Set to Include Artist Housing

By Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska | September 19, 2016 3:18pm | Updated on September 20, 2016 5:37pm
 A massive development is planned for a parking lot at 168th Street and 90th Avenue in downtown Jamaica.
A massive development is planned for a parking lot at 168th Street and 90th Avenue in downtown Jamaica.
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DNAinfo/Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska

QUEENS — A local nonprofit that works to bring new investments to Jamaica is seeking a developer to build a massive mixed-use complex with housing for artists, the group said Monday.

The Greater Jamaica Development Corporation is planning to build the new 500,000-square-foot project on a parking lot at 168th Street and 90th Avenue, half a block from Jamaica Avenue.

The complex would include about 75,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor and at least 250 mixed-income residential units, from 60 percent of Area Median Income to market rate, the group said. About 10 to 20 percent of the residential units would be set aside for artists.


“This site presents a tremendous opportunity to create a transformative project that will be key in Jamaica’s resurgence,” Hope Knight, president of GJDC, said in a statement.

Previously, the group planned to build a department store on the site, the first in the neighborhood in more than three decades, but the deal was terminated earlier this year.

Last year, the New York Community Trust awarded GJDC a $150,000 grant to develop a plan for the project, which the trust said would be completed in 2019 and cost roughly $60 million.

“This development has the potential of bringing a much-needed general merchandise store and family-style restaurant back to the area to support the growing population and volume of daily shoppers that is at an all-time high,” Knight added.

A number of other projects are planned for downtown Jamaica, which has been undergoing many changes in recent years, including a 580-unit complex near the Jamaica AirTrain station and affordable housing which would replace a former police garage on 168th Street.

The Greater Jamaica Development Corporation is hoping to select a developer for the project by the end of the year, the group said.

The request for proposals can be found here. An information session for those interested will be held in mid-October, according to the GJDC. Proposals are due by Dec. 2.