New Jackson Heights plaza to help revitalize neighborhood

Photos courtesy the 82nd Street Partnership

A new Jackson Heights community plaza is bringing color and flowers to an area where two recent daytime murders left business owners and residents concerned for their safety.

The 82nd Street Partnership and Councilmember Julissa Ferreras announced the formation of the temporary 90th Street plaza under the No. 7 train at the intersection of 90th Street and Roosevelt Avenue.

“Considering that two murders recently occurred in this area, the reclaiming of this space could not come at a better time,” said Ferreras. “What our community desperately needs right now is to feel that we can work through whatever issues arise and be more united for it.”

In September, Ever Orozco, 69, was fatally stabbed by Steven Torres, 22, after taking his wife to her routine doctor’s visit on 90th Street. A few days later, a 33-year-old man was found dead with gunshot wounds to his head and neck just a block away.

The temporary plaza, which currently features colorful tables and chairs, is just a taste of one of the many things the new Jackson Heights-Corona Business Improvement District (BID) would bring to beautify and create a cleaner and safer community.

After getting feedback from the community, the BID will present the community vision to the Parks Department in hopes of getting the capital funding to renovate the plaza space and install permanent tables, chairs and planted flowers.

“It’s a visual improvement but it’s also a social improvement, because it makes that space a social space and it puts more eyes on the space,” said Seth Taylor, executive director of the 82nd Street Partnership. “The important piece here is that this is an example of the type of work the BID is looking to do along Roosevelt Avenue, this is a scaled down version.”

A before photo of the plaza. 

If the community votes to accept the Jackson Heights-Corona BID by the end of this year, then it would be up and running by the time a permanent plaza could be installed and it would serve as the city’s maintenance partner of the space. The BID also hopes to work with local cultural institutions to curate art and cultural events in the plaza.

“The formation of the Jackson Heights-Corona Business Improvement District would greatly assist our community in taking a major step in the right direction,” said Ferreras.

The 82nd Street Partnership will host the 90th Street Plaza Visioning Day on Sunday, November 3 from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the plaza where community members can come and give their ideas for a future permanent space. The Uni, a pop-up reading room, will also be present at the site on Sunday. For more information visit www.CleanerSaferRoosevelt.org.