Jamaica Lot Sees Concrete Plans

BY TRONE DOWD

Last month, yet another development was announced for Downtown Jamaica, bringing in yet another wave of affordable housing options and continuing the renewed interest in the Southeast Queens’ hotspot.

Omni New York has filed plans with the city’s Department of Buildings to develop a long-empty lot located at 92-23 168th St. in Jamaica. Founded and operated by former Mets player Mo Vaughn, Omni New York plans to develop a 23-floor mixed-use apartment building.

Last month, a developer revealed plans for the long vacant lot located between Archer and Jamaica avenues.

According to The Real Deal, the New York City Economic Development Corporation reached out to Omni New York for the plans. Final plans for the long-vacant space, which is currently being used as a parking lot for the city’s Police Department, had been in the works for years. Under Omni New York’s plan, the new development would house just under 400 apartments and include more than 330,000 square feet. The new project would also feature a space for retail, adding to the already busy commercial strip along Jamaica Avenue, as well a space for community use.

The development is one of many to debut Southeast Queens in the past few years. Earlier this year, a mixed-use apartment building at 164th Street and Jamaica Avenue broke ground. Funded by First Presbyterian Church, the $74 million, 12-story building will add 174 units to the neighborhood. At 88-45 163rd St., a seven-story mixed use building will house transitional services for the mentally-ill as well as affordable housing. Near Sutphin Boulevard, The Crossing, a 26-story building, broke ground in April. The $406 million development will add 669 energy efficient housing units and 45,000 square feet of retail space.

Jamaica’s wave of development is a result of a vested interest by local elected officials and developers alike who are hoping to revitalize the Downtown Jamaica area. A year ago, Gov. Andrew Cuomo invested $10 million towards Southeast Queens business outreach. This summer, Mayor Bill de Blasio allocated $500,000 towards aesthetic repairs for storefronts along Jamaica Avenue.

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