Top stories to watch for in southeast Queens in 2023

Renderings of JFK Terminal 6 (Photo courtesy of JFK Millennium Partners)

In 2023, construction of the new Terminal 6 at JFK Airport is expected to bring jobs to southeast Queens. By summer, residents in downtown Jamaica will be able to enjoy a new pedestrian plaza that is in the works.

Meanwhile, parents and educators are anticipating a vote by the Panel for Educational Policy (PEP) in January regarding the co-location of a new Success Academy charter elementary school.

Construction of new Terminal 6 at JFK Airport to begin early next year

Renderings of JFK Terminal 6 (Photo courtesy of JFK Millennium Partners)

Construction of a new $4.2 billion Terminal 6 at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) will begin in construction early next year, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced in mid-December.

The development of a new Terminal 6, which will connect seamlessly to Terminal 5 to anchor the airport’s north side, achieved financial close earlier this month, securing full private financing for the project, and will begin construction in the next 90 days. JetBlue and Lufthansa Group will use the new Terminal 6. 

The new Terminal 6 arrivals and departures hall will feel spacious, bright and airy thanks to floor-to-ceiling windows and high ceilings throughout the new terminal, according to Hochul’s office. Passengers will enjoy more than 100,000 square feet of world-class shopping and dining featuring locally based restaurateurs, craft beverage options and Taste NY stores. 

The project is a public-private partnership between the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey  and JFK Millennium Partners (JMP).

“The financial close on a new Terminal 6 allows us to move forward with the final piece of our plan to transform JFK International Airport into one of the world’s great global gateways,” Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton said. “The $4.2 billion private investment in Terminal 6 by JFK Millennium Partners is a vote of confidence in our vision for a new JFK and in the future of our region.” 

The development of Terminal 6 is expected to create more than 4,000 jobs, including 1,800 union construction jobs and direct wages of $1.9 billion. JMP is committed to meeting and exceeding the Port Authority’s goal of 30% participation by Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprises and creating opportunities to foster and grow local businesses through the development. The Terminal 6 project is part of the Port Authority’s $18 billion transformation of JFK under the leadership of Hochul. 

Parsons-Archer pedestrian plaza slated for completion by summer 2023

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

The city Department of Design and Construction (DDC) announced that the Parsons Boulevard Plaza project is on track to be completed by summer 2023. 

The project will improve safety and circulation at the heavily used transit hub by permanently incorporating the temporary pedestrian safety improvements installed in 2018 through full reconstruction of Parsons Boulevard from Archer to Jamaica avenue. The scope of the project includes expanded and enhanced pedestrian space; installation of curb extensions at key intersections; and dedicated locations for commuter van pickup.

According to the DDC, the majority of the work has been completed. The roadway has been reconstructed and most of the sidewalk and curbs have been reconstructed. 

In January, new street lighting and five benches will be installed, one next to each tree that was planted on Dec. 14. The roadway has temporary striping and when the weather is warmer in the spring, the crew will permanently stripe the streets.  

“The crew is awaiting for approvals before reconstructing the sidewalk near the subway entrance at the northeast corner of Parsons and Archer and raising the subway vent adjacent to the entrance,” a DDC spokesperson told QNS. 

Success Academy plans to open co-location in southeast Queens

The Springfield Gardens Educational Complex at 143-10 Springfield Blvd. (Photo via Google Earth)

In mid-December, a public hearing was held about the city Department of Education’s proposed opening and co-location of a new Success Academy charter school at two schools in southeast Queens that has received pushback from members in the school community.

The Springfield Gardens Educational Complex, which houses four high schools, is one of two buildings in southeast Queens where Success Academy is seeking a co-location, according to an online petition started by the Springfield Campus PTA. The second building houses three schools, including M.S. 72, the Catherine and Count Basie Middle School, in Rochdale Village. 

In its online petition, The Springfield Campus PTA said the resident schools are consistently showing progress in the academic achievements and socio-emotional growth of its students. 

“An addition to the campus will most certainly limit the growth and expansion of the schools as they seek to develop and expand their specific career programs that lead to college and career readiness and opportunities to learn about and gain technical experiences to enter the workforce,” the Springfield Campus PTA wrote. 

Instead of adding a fifth school to the Springfield Gardens Educational Complex, the PTA is requesting that the DOE and politicians provide funding for programs that will allow the schools to grow and become competitive. Following the hearings that were held in December, the Panel for Educational Policy will vote on the matter during a meeting on Thursday, Jan. 5.