Jamaica group wants to transform a vast parking lot into a huge retail & residential center

This February 2010 photo shows the parking lot at the corner of 168th Street and 90th Avenue that the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation wants developed into a new retail and residential complex.
Photo: Christopher Bride/PropertyShark

A huge parking field in the heart of Jamaica may soon be transformed into a giant retail and residential complex, if the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation (GJDC) has its way.

The organization announced on Monday that it is seeking proposals from developers for the construction of a 500,000-square-foot project at 90-02 168th St., which is presently a 99,500-square-foot parking lot that the GJDC owns.


Elected officials across Queens have pointed to Jamaica as the site of the next great development boom in New York City, and according to GJDC President and CEO Hope Knight, this lot presents a “tremendous opportunity to create a transformative project that will be key in Jamaica’s resurgence.”

“This development has the potential of bringing a much-needed general merchandise store and family-style restaurant back to the area to support the growing population and volume of daily shoppers that is at an all-time high,” Knight said.

The GJDC’s request for proposals calls for the creation of at least 250 mixed-income residential units, a portion of which would be reserved for artists. The developer would also be required to create at least 75,000 square feet of retail space, helping to address a growing need for additional commercial options in Jamaica.

The development would be located within walking distance of the Jamaica Avenue shopping strip, home to all kinds of retail stores. However, a recent GJDC survey concluded that Jamaica residents shopped less frequently in their own neighborhood, and spent four times as much money outside of the Jamaica Avenue shopping district.

The 168th Street site is also across the street from the 103rd Precinct‘s stationhouse and is about a half-mile east of the Jamaica Center subway station.

The request for proposal is available on the GJDC website; the organization will hold an informational session in mid-October. All proposals are due by Dec. 2, and the GJDC will select a winning project by the end of 2016.