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April 9, 2008

MTA Hands Over Valuable Land in Queens

MTA Hands Over Valuable Real Estate To Spur Jamaica Redevelopment

More stores are on the way for commuters and Jamaica residents, as the MTA announced today that it is leasing some valuable real estate, as part of a plan to spur development in southeast Queens.

The Greater Jamaica Development Corporation is spear-heading a $12 million project, aimed at bringing more retail and private investment to the neighborhood.

To help the effort, the Long Island Rail Road is relocating its print shop, currently located under the rail road tracks on Sutphin Boulevard, to another Queens location.

The new plans would call for a better-lit underpass and more than 5,000 square feet of retail space.

Currently, the railroad underpass, pictured above, is a dark tunnel across the street from the entrance to the railroad and air train stations.

"Sometimes if you walk underneath here, you can't see the person's face that's coming towards you," said a local.

Supporters say they are especially interested in promoting businesses that cater to both the neighborhood and to LIRR customers.

"We are hoping to do convenience stores that will be helpful to people riding the Long Island Railroad and those in the neighborhood," said Andrew Manshel of the Greater Jamaica Development Corp.

"We service 280,000 customers daily, and many of them come through Jamaica, so additional retail might make this a good stopping off point for them," said Susan McGowan of LIRR.

Construction on the project is set to begin later this year.
This will be beneficial to both the community and to commuters and I give kudos. However I am still skeptical that someone is getting rich on this transaction.