By Naeisha Rose
The Greater Jamaica Development Corp., an economic improvement group, announced a joint venture last week between BRP Companies and Wharton Properties for a 500,000-square-foot development that will have over 300 mixed-income residential units in Jamaica.
In addition, there will be 70,000 square feet of retail space. The ground-breaking is slated for the end of 2018.
The development organization plans on using the open-air parking lot situated between the Queens Central Library and the Department of Motor Vehicles for the space, according to a spokesman.
Greater Jamaica President Hope Knight believes the apartment complex and the shopping space will bring new residents and consumers to the area.
“Our goal for the development of the site is to facilitate a project that addresses the needs of the community, creates jobs and brings activity to the eastern part of the district,” Knight said. “We are confident that BRP and Wharton will create a project that will support the growing population and volume of daily shoppers that is at an all-time high.”
This is the second development project for the real estate firm BRP in Jamaica. The company’s co-founder and managing partner, Meredith Marshall, is already in the process of building a private affordable housing and mixed-income apartment complex called “The Crossing at Jamaica Station.” It cost $407 million and is across from the AirTrain Station at 93-01 Sutphin Blvd., Jamaica, according to GJDC.
The 773,000-square-foot project will have 669 units and is projected to create 4,000 construction jobs before it is completed in 2019, according to GJDC.
”Jamaica is primed to be a premier hub in Queens — combining housing, retail and transportation — and we are pleased to support its continued development with our second Jamaica project,” Marshall said. “We are working closely with the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation, helping to bring needed mixed-income, affordable housing to the area. This project will strengthen our relationship and ensure we are developing in Jamaica based on the needs of the community.”
Jamaica became a potential hotbed of economic development shortly after 2014 when the real estate site Street Easy projected the area as being a hot spot. According to the site, the combination of population growth, the prices of homes, the addition of new hotels and access to multiple forms of transportation were some of the reasons behind this forecast.
Wharton Properties is a major commercial real estate company responsible for a series of development on Fifth Avenue, 34th Street, Madison Avenue, Time Square and Soho, according to the company’s website.
The cost of the joint venture between BRP and Wharton was not disclosed.
Reach reporter Naeisha Rose by e-mail at nrose