Community leaders break ground on Downtown Jamaica co-working and training facility

Photo courtesy of Jonathan Sterne/ESD

Community leaders on Wednesday broke ground on the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation’s Downtown Jamaica Co-Working and Training facility, which will provide room for up to 80 local entrepreneurs and independent professionals. 

The Greater Jamaica Development Corporation (GJDC) was joined by Empire State Development, Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, and local elected officials at The Moda Building, located at 89-14 Parsons Blvd., which will be transformed into a 12,000-square-foot work-space and provide up to 255 jobs in the community.

The project is supported by a $1.65 million performance-based grant from Empire State Development, which was awarded as part of Jamaica’s selection as a Downtown Revitalization Initiative winner in 2016. By providing New Yorkers with access to affordable flexible workspaces and business equipment, the project will support Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s efforts to further build Jamaica into a major economic hub. 

In the coming months, GJDC will invest $5.1 million towards the development. 

“The Downtown Revitalization Initiative and previous investments by the Cuomo Administration are attracting private investment, development activity and jobs in Jamaica, which has expanded the local economy and created opportunities for local residents and businesses,” said Hope Knight, president and CEO of GJDC. “Thanks to the Cuomo Administration for its continued commitment to bolstering Southeast Queens.”

Hochul noted that with support from the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, Jamaica is poised for transformation with a significant increase in jobs and economic growth. 

Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul (Photo by Jonathan Sterne/ESD)

“This co-working space will support innovative entrepreneurs and invests in the future of our workforce,” Hochul said. “The forward thinking projects that are part of the Jamaica DRI will capitalize on the area’s higher education institutions, highlight culture and diversity, and enhance transportation to improve quality of life for residents, workers, students and visitors.”

Meanwhile, local elected officials such as Congressman Gregory Meeks and Senator Leroy Comrie applauded the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation and the Cuomo Administration for investing in the community. 

“I am excited to see construction begin for this much anticipated co-working space in the heart of Jamaica,” Meeks said. “The economy of southeast Queens is thriving, due in no short path to massive investments and the entrepreneurial workforce that will now have new workspace to innovate, create and grow their businesses. I look forward to its completion and opportunities it will bring to our community.”

Comrie added, “This co-working space will provide a supportive and collaborative environment for folks to exchange ideas as they start and grow this business.”

“This support, combined with the ongoing implementation of our Jamaica NOW Neighborhood Action Plan, will bring us to the forefront of the technological age and will ensure Downtown Jamaica remains competitive for years to come,” said Queens Borough President Melinda Katz.