Jamaica is Back!!
To celebrate, the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation (GJDC) hosted its annual gala on October 21. The GJDC is one of New York’s oldest not-for-profit local development corporations whose efforts have been directed toward Downtown Jamaica with astonishing results.
The most visible development has been AirTrain which links Downtown Jamaica to JFK International Airport. “Many people didn’t think it would succeed as it was not a one seat ride to Manhattan,” said GJDC chairman Dan Green. The AirTrain boasted a ridership of over 5.5 million paid passengers in 2011.
In addition, development around the AirTrain area is gaining speed. The LIRR (Long Island Railroad) Jamaica transit hub has been refashioned and the GJDC has worked to add a taxi kioski to the area. The shops at Sutphin Plaza, also adjacent to the AirTrain, is continuing to develop with its Resorts World Casino Shuttle Bus storefront, one of the busiest of the strip.
Additional developments in the works include a hotel and restaurant property, mixed used income housing and the first new Department Store in Jamaica in decades.
GJDC credited its partners at the Gala including Congressman Gregory Meeks and Thomas Prendergast, Chairman and Chief Executive of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), who was a gala honoree. Citibank President Robert Koar was also honored at that Gala and sited as a collaborative partner. Dr. Marcia Keizs, York College President received special tribute.
Gala participants included heads of industry alongside community residents, civic leaders and politicians.
The Gala event was held at eSpace in Manhattan. It came just days after the GJDC’s annual Fall Harvest Event in Downtown Jamaica.