National retailer comes to downtown Jamaica

By Sadef Ali Kully

Burlington Coat Factory is coming to downtown Jamaica.

According to the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation, the national apparel chain signed a 20-year lease on a 70,000-square-foot space at United American Land’s planned 150,000-square-foot retail center in three attached buildings at 161-02, 160-16 and 160-08 Jamaica Ave.

The historic site sits next to the Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning and will feature four levels of retail space, along with a classic historic facade and high ceilings.

The store is expected to open early in 2017 and will be Burlington’s third store in Queens. Its two other Queens stores are located in Rego Park and Glen Oaks.

According to Burlington Coat Factory’s real estate agency, CNS Real Estate, the downtown Jamaica site fits the criteria for the store. The company needed between 40,000 and 70,000 square feet in a single- or multi-level space within a retail shopping hub as well as a 10-year lease with options.

Burlington’s roots go back to 1924, when the company started as a wholesaler of ladies’ coats and junior suits.

“Coats were the primary offering at the original Burlington Coat Factory, but over time the concept has evolved into a one-stop shopping experience,” the company website said.

“Burlington Coat Factory is a great complement to the diverse retail offerings in Downtown Jamaica,” said Hope Knight, president and CEO, Greater Jamaica Development Corporation. “A national department store brand with price points catering to every budget further establishes Jamaica as a one-stop shopping destination..”

The new Burlington Coat Factory store in downtown Jamaica is just one of several new retail and mixed-use building projects planned for the major-transit-hub area in Queens.

Current underway projects are The Crossing, a 580-unit mixed-income apartment complex located at Sutphin Blvd. across from the subway, LIRR and AirTrain station, and the Hilton Garden Inn 24-story hotel with over 200 new rooms including a sit-down restaurant and a business center.

In April, the city and Queens Borough President Melinda Katz launched the Jamaica Now Action Plan, which outlines 21 strategic actions for the revitalization and growth of downtown Jamaica into a thriving residential and commercial neighborhood.

The action plan seeks to address workforce training and small business support, initiating new mixed-use development anchored by affordable housing and improving the livability of the neighborhood through investments in safety measures and green spaces. The 21 strategic actions, 16 of which will be launched and implemented in the next three years, are covered by about $153 million in public funds.

Reach Reporter Sadef Ali Kully by e-mail at skully@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4546.