By Patrick Donachie
Community members and elected officials celebrated the unveiling of a row of seven new storefront facades along Sutphin Boulevard in Jamaica between Hillside and 88th avenues. The plan is the first step toward renovating more facades along Sutphin Boulevard.
The Sutphin Boulevard Business Improvement District received $95,000 in a Neighborhood Challenge Grant from the New York City Small Business Services to upgrade the facades. Council members I. Daneek Miller (D-Jamaica) and Rory Lancman (D-Hillcrest) were on hand to celebrate the unveiling of the new construction during a ribbon-cutting ceremony on July 27.
“Our area is lucky to have unique stores filled with hard-working business owners, and I look forward to continuing to work with our local leaders to see how to best serve our small businesses,” Lancman said about the event.
In addition to the upgrading of the facades, the BID worked with interested store owners on improving awnings, security gates, signs, lighting and windows of the stores. The Neighborhood Challenge Grant for the SBS helped the Sutphin BID procure a $300,000 New York State grant to use for renovations of mixed-use buildings in downtown Jamaica. The SBS also granted the Sutphin BID an additional $30,000 for use in revitalizing the boulevard through the 2016 Avenue NYC program.
“These improvements to the storefronts along Sutphin Boulevard will help support the entrepreneurs who have invested in the community, while also attracting other businesses to one of the busiest corridors in the city,” Miller said during the ribbon-cutting. “These upgrades will also give residents quality stores to enhance our quality of life.”
The Sutphin Boulevard BID, which was founded in 2004, has also been awarded a New York Main Street Grant to fund additional renovations of facades along the Sutphin corridor in the coming year. The BID represents 134 different businesses, 56 properties and 39 property owners and services the area of Sutphin Boulevard from the north side of Hillside Avenue to the south side of 94th Avenue.
The BID plans to use the Main Street Grant on storefront facades either on the same block or across the street from the new facades and is currently reaching out to interested property owners.
Reach reporter Patrick Donachie by e-mail at pdona