By Naeisha Rose
Chipotle Mexican Grill will have its grand opening Friday in Jamaica, at 160-02 Jamaica Ave., and its first 25 customers will have a chance to get a T-shirt and get a buy-one-get-one coupon for a future visit.
Not only will the chain restaurant hand out giveaways on Friday, but it will also donate 50 percent of its sales on Monday to Make-A-Wish Metro New York and Western New York from every customer who mentions the fund-raiser at the register.
The non-profit Make-A-Wish foundation tries to bring joy to children with life-threatening illnesses by granting their wishes, according to the organization.
The chain store is a casual restaurant that specializes in tacos and burritos made from natural ingredients, according to a spokeswoman.
The store is located near Jamaica Multiplex Cinemas and is one of several businesses coming to the area through joint economic development efforts by the Jamaica Center Business Improvement District, the 165 Street Mall Improvement Association, and the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation.
Last year a Dallas BBQ, Starbucks, Madrag, House of Hoops, Kicks and many more chain and local businesses opened in the area, according to Karen Massey of JCBID.
Jamaica Now Action Plan, an enterprise created by Mayor Bill de Blasio and Borough President Melinda Katz to engage the community to find ways to build up its assets, has also helped in furthering the development in the area.
“By increasing and diversifying employment and economic opportunities, the Jamaica Now Action Plan lays out a series of short and long-term projects and recommendations that will strengthen Jamaica as a center for growth,” the mayor and the borough president said in a statement.
Jamaica has also received a combined $20 million between 2016 and 2017 through Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative.
“This critical investment in Jamaica’s downtown will help it grow into a major economic hub that boosts small businesses, expands economic opportunity for residents, and draws new residents and visitors to the community,” Cuomo said. “These projects will help transform downtown Jamaica into a bustling neighborhood, spurring economic development and creating a brighter future for residents and workers across the great borough of Queens.”
Chipotle said it is happy to be a part of the renewal.
“We’re always looking for great communities where we can open new restaurants, and the Jamaica Avenue business corridor is the perfect fit,” a Chipotle spokeswoman said. “We’re excited to be a part of the revitalization effort and to see the Jamaica area return to its status as a commercial hub.”
Reach reporter Naeisha Rose by e-mail at nrose