Some 35 years ago, if you lived in Brooklyn or Queens and wanted to shop, Jamaica was the place to go. The retail hub has since declined, with those department stores still standing all closed. The neighborhood is looking to make a comeback with a new department store and other development.
“This will build up the economy of the whole region,” said Fred Winters, spokesperson for the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation (GJDC). “Other stores want to be close to the department store. This is a very big deal.”
The site of the store is bordered by 90th Street, 169th Street, Jamaica Avenue and Merrick Boulevard. A 160,000-square-foot retail space will dominate one side of the street, with a 500-car garage on the other side. Construction is expected to start in about two years.
Blumenfeld Development Group (BDG), a leading retail developer in the metropolitan area, is taking on the project in cooperation with GJDC. Other sites built by BDG include Manhattan’s East River Plaza and The Arches in Deer Park on Long Island.
“To build the space with a department store in mind is a very big deal,” Winters said. “There aren’t many sites in Jamaica that are appropriate for a department store anymore.”
“It symbolizes the way greater Jamaica and all the other civic groups have helped Jamaica really turn a corner economically,” he added.