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Chapter 1: GENERAL CONTEXT
This report is presented to propose uses for a commercial development sites located in Jamaica,
New York. Specifically, this report will focus on the following properties located in the Borough of
Queens, City of New York, County of Queens and State of New York as depicted below.
The following is a description obtained from Zola’s New York City’s Zoning and Land Use Map of the
site that is pertinent to understanding the current parameters at this time:
Gross Floor Area
Current Site Use:
Upon research, all properties are considered mixed-use buildings which are designated for
commercial and residential use. All properties are zoned under R6A and C2-4 respectively.
Properties located on 144-33 and 144-35 have a combined lot area of 4,700 square feet and a
combined gross floor area of 7,148 square feet. Properties located at 145-01 and 145-03 have a
combined lot area of 4,830 square feet and a combined gross floor area of 6,576 square feet. The
total combined lot area of all properties is 9,530 square feet while the combined gross floor area for
all properties is 9,818 square feet.
The property currently located at 144-33 Jamaica Avenue is currently within a building class that is
specified as a predominantly retail use site with other uses. The property located at 144-35 Jamaica
Avenue is within a building class designated for residential (multiple use) - primarily two family with
one store or office. The property located at 145-01 Jamaica Avenue is classified as a Residential
(multiple use) - primarily two family with one store or office as well. This building currently holds a
retail tenant operating as Jin Li 99 cent department Inc. Lastly there is the property located at 145-03
Jamaica Avenue with the building class of residence (multiple use) - primarily two family with one
store or office.
Additionally, the figure above notates that each building within the assemblage has 2 apartment
units. This would justify the residential zoning condition for R6A.
With the proposed development project that will be outlined within this report, we are planning and
developing under the current zoning parameters creating residential and retail spaces that the
current Jamaica, Queens comprehensive plan intends to implement.
This proposal will suggest based on current market conditions and NYC planning board initiatives
the properties located at 144-33 and 144-35 will become an Urgent Care offering lab services,
medical imaging, clinical and office space for specialists of the Jamaica Hospital Medical Center.
Entrance to the Urgent care will be facing the south on Jamaica Avenue on 144-33. Medical office
space entrance will be on the southeast side of the building facing 145th. The properties located at
145-01 and 145-03 will be renovated and will remain mix-used buildings that will provide affordable
housing and maintain one commercial retail tenant. The locations 144-33 and 144-35 will be a
medical office, two story with face brick with concrete block back-up / Steel Joists. 145-01 and 14503 will also remain a two story with face brick with concrete block backup and Steel Joists.
Chapter 1- 1: ECONOMIC DRIVERS
Downtown Jamaica is experiencing rapid middle-class population growth and is in the midst of a
wave of private and public investments in infrastructure, affordable housing, hospitality, retail and
industrial jobs. Job growth in downtown Jamaica is currently centered on five distinct areas;
industrial related uses, construction, hospitality, retail and aviation related. York College located in
the heart of Downtown, just south of Jamaica Avenue, was designated by Governor Cuomo as a
Start-Up NY recipient. It is the only such location in Queens and the program is designed to attract
businesses-- especially those in high tech, pharmaceuticals, aviation or logistics to sites on or
adjacent to the college. The mix of growing job opportunities in construction, retail, hospitality,
aviation-related industries and high tech present a diverse range of salary scales and job mobility.
According to the Office of the New York State Comptroller, the number of businesses increased by
39 percent over a 20-year period, much faster than the citywide growth rate (27 percent). The local
economy is closely associated with nearby John F. Kennedy International Airport. Business growth
has been extraordinary over the past two decades, increasing by 39 percent. In 2014, there were
4,298 businesses, one-fifth of which were retail.
Additionally, Queens is home to John F. Kennedy International Airport and LaGuardia Airport.
Moreover, the Landmarks in Queens include Flushing Meadows-Corona Park; Citi Field, which is the
home of the New York Mets baseball team; the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, site of
the US Open tennis tournament; Kaufman Astoria Studios; Silvercup Studios, the largest film and
television production facility in New York City, and Aqueduct Racetrack.
As shown in figure above, the number of businesses in the Greater Jamaica area totaled 4,298 in
2014. This represents an increase of 39 percent over a 20-year period, much faster than the growth
rate in the City overall (27 percent). While the recent recession temporarily dampened growth, the
number of businesses increased by 11 percent between 2009 and 2014.
CHAPTER 1-2: DEMOGRAPHIC ANALYSIS
Queens is one of the five boroughs of New York City, located in Queens County, State of New York.
It is the largest borough geographically and is adjacent to the borough of Brooklyn at the
southwestern end of Long Island. Nassau County is to the east of Queens and it also shares water
borders with the boroughs of Manhattan and the Bronx. Queens is the second largest in population
size of the boroughs, behind Brooklyn.
According to the NYC Planning Department, the United States Census reported that the population
of Queens Community District 12 in 2010 which includes Hollis, Jamaica, Jamaica Center, North
Springfield Gardens, Rochdale, South Jamaica and St. Albans was 225.9K. The area and density for
the district is 9.6 square miles. WIthin those parameters there are 23,533 persons per square mile.
Queens Community District is more dense than neighboring communities such as Queens
Community 13 which consists of Bellaire, Bellerose, Brookville, Cambria Heights, Floral Park, Glen
Oaks, Laurelton, New Hyde Park, Queens Village, Rosedale, Springfield Gardens with 14,968
persons per square miles. While New York comes in at a whopping 27,000 people per square mile,
the density for Queens still holds strong indications that new developments and affordable housing
accommodations are a necessity for the population at large. Queens is also the fourth most densely
populated county among New York City's boroughs, as well as in the United States.
The figure above outlines that the population for the Queens Community District 12 has a higher
female population at 53.4% while the male population rests at 46.6%. The African American
population is the highest in the district coming in at 61.2% over all other race origins. Within this
population 42.7 percent are foreign born.
According to the provided figure, 22.8% of residents are under the age of 18 while NYC is at 21%.
12.7% of Queens Community District 12 residents are 65 and over.The 30-percent of income standard
is a widely used and accepted measure of the extent of housing affordability and it remains a reliable
indicator of affordability both over time and across markets. The figure above indicates that for the rent
burden 48.0% of households spend 35% or more of their income on rent. The District also
demonstrates high ratings with access to parks (76.0%) and Street Cleanliness at (94.9%). Daily
commutes to work average at 48.9 minutes.
Crime in the Queens Community District 12 came in at a lower rate with 2,837 major felonies
reported in 2017 compared to the borough of Queens at 19,371 and all of NYC at 96,515.
Education in the District signifies that 21.0% of residents age 25 years and older have earned a
bachelor’s degree or higher compared to the borough of Queens at 30.8% and NYC at 36.7%
making this a very low number for the district compared to all of New York.
The English proficiency of the district is very low at 14.3% compared to all of Queens at 29.3% and
all of NYC at 23.1%. This signifies a very diverse and dense cultural mix within the district.
There is a very high unemployment rate in the district at 7.1% which is substantially higher than the
rest of Queens at 4.4% and all of New York City at 4.9%. This percentage indicates that job creation,
affordable housing and skill development programs are very necessary within the district. Since
2010, unemployment has increased by 2.5 basis points in Jamaica compared to 1 basis point in the
borough of Queens. Three percent of Jamaica’s employed residents work in Jamaica and an
additional 1 percent work at JFK.
NYCgov Poverty Measure indicates a percentage of 19.0% compared to all of Queens at 19.3% and
all of New York City at 19.8%
The above figure obtained from Claritas indicates that the Jamaica Queens highest household
income is between $50-$75K. The median household income for the Jamaica Queens population is
According to the Claritas figure shown above dated in 2019, the Queen’s 12 district’s household
composition is predominantly made up of 2 person households with no children/other. Overall this
information exhibits that the demographic is a young, diverse family market: 41% families with
children (married couple or single parent), plus married couples without children and a notable
proportion of multigenerational households.
According to Esri, (which obtained housing types and rents from the Census Bureau’s American
Community survey) the figure above notates based on the proposed site/properties’ zipcode that
residents within the community tend to be renters at 72.4% while homeowners make up only 27%.
The figure also illustrates that the typical housing is high-density apartments and single families with
an average rent of $1,191.
The average household budget index comprised by Esri indicates what this market’s households
budget for housing, food, clothing and other necessities. The market predominantly spends on
apparel and services followed by housing, food, transportation and healthcare.
Key Findings: This is a cultural community where families renting apartments in older buildings
dominate this market; about one quarter of households have children. Over one-fifth of households
have no vehicle, typically those living in the city. Workers are mainly employed in white collar and
service occupations (especially food service and building maintenance). One-fifth of workers
commute using public transportation and more walk or bike to work than expected. Median
household income is lower, but home values are higher, reflecting the metropolitan areas in which
they live. Consumers are attentive to personal style; purchases reflect their youth and their children.
Chapter 1-3: GENERAL MARKET CONDITIONS
With respect to retail, Jamaica Avenue presents classic attributes of retail friendly thoroughfares.
From the 1940’s-1970’s, Jamaica was the shopping center for both Queens and Long Island with
three major department stores located in the Downtown. Located in high-density areas of heavy
pedestrian foot traffic, retail rents have been rising to reflect the ongoing revitalization of the
Downtown. Well-known and nationally recognized retailers such as Burlington Coat Factory, TJ
Maxx, H&M and Old Navy have either recently entered the Downtown or committed to its future. The
Downtown Jamaica District is receiving interest from national/regional retail chains and the Greater
Jamaica Development Corporation is working with the three BIDS to diversify the retail corridor.
The figure above demonstrates that the vacancy rate, after a recent peak of 7%, has declined to
3.8%. Rents average $72.28 per square foot, up over 100% from 2012 and are among the highest
rates in Queens.
Downtown Jamaica is a bustling hub of living, working, shopping, and learning, with the most active
uses concentrated along Jamaica and Archer Avenues between Sutphin Boulevard and 168th
Street. Retail and office uses are predominantly located along Jamaica and Hillside avenues,
Sutphin Boulevard, and at the165th Street Mall. 11,400 housing units,8 primarily in buildings
containing 20 units or more, are within the Core Downtown; whereas surrounding neighborhoods
consist largely of one- and two-family homes, Downtown Jamaica is predominated by six- to eightstory multifamily structures, with a significant concentration around Rufus King Park. Institutional and
public facilities are also a dominant use Downtown, with the largest being York College, which is
located south of the LIRR tracks. Despite the increase in the number of rental units, housing
affordability is a major problem. The median monthly rent rose from $700 in 2002 to $1,275 by 2014.
In Queens the rental vacancy rate was 3.5%.
The chart above illustrates that rents for market-rate units are currently listed at $1,625 for a studio,
$1,925 for a one-bedroom unit, and $2,550 for a two-bedroom unit. Across all units, rents in
multifamily buildings are approximately $28 per square foot, having recovered to 2007 levels
following a decline during the Great Recession.
Chapter 1-4: EMPLOYERS
According to Labor statistics for the New York City region. Private sector jobs in New York City rose
over the year by 55,100, or 1.4 percent, to 4,071,300 in October 2019. Gains were greatest in
educational and health services (+37,500), professional and business services (+22,600), trade,
transportation, and utilities (+8,400), and other services (+2,200). Losses were reported in natural
resources, mining, and construction (-6,200), financial activities (-5,700), leisure and hospitality (2,300), and manufacturing (-1,400). The information sector was unchanged for the month. Major
employers in New York are the following:
Major job-creating projects and initiatives are underway for a wide range of opportunities, all of which
are either in the Downtown core or are easily accessible to it. As a result of significant past
investment from the public sector, Jamaica is poised to undertake substantial job growth and
significant community revitalization. As we look at the Jamaica, Queens area here were our findings
on current top employers:
Major employers outlined by the figure above indicated that the following major employers in
Jamaica, Queens are the following in ranking order: Jamaica Hospital, State Supreme Court,
Queens Civil Court, NYC Police Dept./Forensic Lab, New Queens Family Court, US FDA Lab, York
College, Social Security Administration, and lastly the Department of Motor Vehicles.
Most local job growth has occurred in the administrative, health care, and retail sectors, which (with
transportation) represent nearly all new jobs created in Downtown Jamaica between 2002 and 2014
and reflect the importance of major local employers, listed in the figure above.
According to the Downtown Jamaica Revitalization Initiative as they look forward, it is stated that
there are several sectors that are expected to represent growth opportunities for Downtown
employment based on recent and expected activity, including:
Health & Life Sciences: Health care-related jobs in the Core Downtown have grown 30% between
2002 and 2014, and Jamaica Hospital, the FDA, and York College (which offers numerous health
care-related degree programs and certifications, and recently launched graduate programs in
pharmaceutical science and physician assistant certification) provide the foundation for future
growth. Statewide, health care jobs are projected to grow by an additional 20% over the next
decade, with similar trends expected in New York City, making health-care one of the fastest
growing sectors in the economy. This poses well for our proposed site development creating jobs
and contributing to the growth of the Jamaica Queens industry tapestry.
Hospitality & Food Services: Jamaica has seen a boom in hotel development since the completion
of the AirTrain and the 2007 rezoning. Several major hotels are in development, including
approximately 675 rooms in the blocks surrounding Jamaica Station. In total, over 2,000 new hotel
rooms are planned to come online in Downtown Jamaica, which could support between 1,000 and
1,500 new direct jobs in addition to the existing 800+ jobs already in the hospitality industry.
According to a 2017 report from the New York State Department of Labor, the following LQ’s were
established for Queen’s County of New York. The top 3 LQ’s for Queens County employment
(greater than 1.00) were the following industries: Unclassified Services (Employment LQ 5.34 and
total wage LQ 2.97) employed 6,635 with an average annual total wages of $180,567,225.
Construction (Employment LQ 1.66 and total wage LQ 2.27) was the second highest which
employed 50,681 with annual total wages of $3,843,517,078. Third ranking industry is
Educational/Health Services ( Employment LQ 1.49 and total wage LQ 1.35) employed 147,193 with
average annual total wages coming at $6,083,058,194. These figures indicate that these industries
are producing more than is consumed locally (exporting). The LQ’s are also relative to the United
On the State level, the New York Department of Labor reports that at 3.29, securities, commodity
contracts and investments has the highest statewide LQ. This industry is very important to the state.
Not only did this industry employ almost 195,000 in 2016, it also paid salaries averaging almost
$360,000. Nationally, more than one out of every five workers in this sector are employed in New
York State. Other information services recorded a strong LQ of 2.78. Industries in this category are
primarily news syndicates, libraries, archives, exclusive internet publishing and/or broadcasting and
web search portals. These businesses combined employed more than 47,000 in 2016, with an
average annual wage of $139,080. Transit and ground passenger transportation ranked third with an
LQ of 2.33. While this industry is active in every region of the state, jobs are mostly concentrated in
the downstate region. The state employs more than 15% of the nation’s transit and ground
The Jamaica, Queens area had the second-highest average commute time among the City’s 55
Censusdefined neighborhoods (50 minutes). Nearly 43 percent of the residents had a commute of
an hour or longer, well above the average for Queens (29 percent). About half of the residents were
employed as office workers or held jobs in health care, retail or transportation. The most common
occupation was home health aide. Almost 12 percent of the residents worked as teachers and first
responders, such as corrections officers, police officers and security guards. Jamaica had the largest
number (and the second highest concentration) of protective service workers among the City’s 55
Chapter 2: PROJECT VISION AND PROPOSED USE
Through research and the ultimate goal of New York City and Jamaica Queens’ comprehensive
plans along with the strong indicators within the demographic and employment sectors, we would
propose to convert and combine the buildings located at 144-33 and 144-35 to become an Urgent
Care offering lab services, medical imaging, clinical and office space for specialists of the Jamaica
Hospital Medical Center. An increased plottage value by combining two parcels side by ...