Economic development in southeast Queens got a huge boost Thursday when Bartlett Dairy Inc. received Uniform Land Use Review Procedure to build a permanent home for its milk distribution in New York City on a significant portion of the JFK North Site in Springfield Gardens.
Bartlett Dairy, which was originally based in Queens, will become the only milk distribution facility in the city since the Elmhurst Dairy shuttered in Jamaica, costing the area nearly 300 jobs.
“The closing of the Elmhurst Dairy plant in 2016 was a devastating loss for New York City,” NYCEDC President and CEO James Patchett said. “Bartlett’s expansion is a win-win for New Yorkers and the city’s local economy. We are proud to have helped bring a dedicated milk distribution company back to the five boroughs and create new economic opportunities for more of our residents.”
Bartlett, a minority-owned, family-run business will develop a 54,000-square-foot distribution center which is expected to create nearly 100 construction jobs and 165 permanent jobs with average salaries of $70,000.
“The return of Bartlett Dairy to Queens is bringing jobs back to the borough where so many workers call home,” Councilman Donovan Richards said. “With additional opportunities for more jobs and apprenticeships along with the resurfacing of Rockaway Boulevard, stormwater mitigation and an expedited construction timeline for improvements to Baisley Pond Park, this development is an all-around win for southeast Queens.”
Construction on the new facility is expected to be completed by fall 2020. Currently, Bartlett Dairy’s milk distribution occurs in New Jersey and the products are then delivered to New York City by truck.
“We are excited to be returning home to the birthplace of Bartlett Dairy. We look forward to our continued growth in conjunction with the local community,” Bartlett Dairy President Thomas Malave said. “To celebrate this moment, we are establishing a scholarship fund for local graduating high school students.”
The new facility will serve as Bartlett’s New York headquarters. The company’s largest contracts are with the city’s Department of Education, the Archdiocese of New York and Starbucks.
“Queens Community 13 is in full support of Bartlett Dairy. This project brings needed development for the location, job opportunities for local residents and a general economic development all around,” CB 13 District Manager Mark McMillan said. “It also fits in nicely with the recent creation of Gateway JFK, the Industrial Business Improvement District comprised of the airport freight business, hotels and residents within the Spring-Jam Civic Association area.”
Gateway JFK began as JFK Ibid in 2014 as a plan to create a district to revitalize the Springfield Gardens area surrounding JFK Airport by making the cargo community aware of the benefits of nearby off airport real estate, business opportunity and economic advantages.
“Gateway JFK is happy to see Bartlett come into the community,” Gateway JFK Executive Director Scott Grimm-Lyon said. “We believe they will be a great contributor to the area and a beacon of development. They will help show that our community is ripe for investment.”