Today’s news:

Jamaica Ave. doesn’t suffer from big vacancy rate

As executive director of the Jamaica Center Business Improvement District, I appreciate U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner’s (D-Forest Hills) concern for small Queens businesses and the desire to see them succeed (“Vacant storefronts pull down economy: Weiner,” July 22-28, Jamaica Times).

While his study revealed troubling vacancy statistics in specific neighborhoods throughout Queens, it should be pointed out that one district not included in the study, and not experiencing significant retail vacancies, is Jamaica Avenue in downtown Jamaica between Sutphin Boulevard and 169th Street.

Arguably the busiest stretch of Jamaica Avenue, the district attracts, on average, 85,000 weekday visitors, making it one of the borough’s busiest commercial corridors. With nearly 300 businesses, it is Jamaica’s core shopping district.

With a vacancy rate of less than 4 percent, our district continues to retain and attract a diverse mix of mom and pop-owned businesses and regional and national chains. In addition to a number of new small businesses to open in downtown Jamaica, national chains like the Gap’s new concept store — the Gap Factory Store — and Verizon Wireless have come in. An Applebee’s restaurant will open later this year, which will help meet the growing demand for a sit-down restaurant.

The district’s retail market is robust and the future looks bright. The Jamaica Center BID, along with its partners, will continue to assist existing businesses, attract new retailers and beautify the district to further enhance downtown Jamaica as a great place to shop, work and live.

Brigit Pinnell

Executive Director

Jamaica Center Business Improvement District


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