A Fond Farewell to Trey Jenkins: A Special Note From Our Executive Director

Today our staff says a fond farewell and sends our very best wishes to our teammate and friend, Trey Jenkins, who has accepted the position of Executive Director of the 161st Street Business Improvement District in the Bronx. His last day will be today.  For three and a half years, Trey served our business district as the Director of Marketing and Business Services. In this role, he was the primary point of contact for our business community, oversaw our social media, managed our website, and helped launch several new community events, to name but a few responsibilities.

When our organization was awarded a Strategic Impact Grant by New York City's Department of Small Business Services to help neighboring businesses just outside of our BID Boundaries adapt to Covid, it was Trey who pounded the pavement, establishing relationships with hundreds of small businesses in a short amount of time, introducing them to available loans, grants and marketing opportunities available to get customer feet back in the door. Trey took it upon himself to not only serve the Jamaica business community, but to become part of the southeast Queens civic community as well, by playing active roles in our local community board district cabinet meetings, Friends of Rufus King Park and other neighborhood groups.

His dedication, work ethic, kindness, and charisma will be greatly missed by our team and the community both, but we know that the Bronx and NYC as a whole have much to gain in the years ahead with Trey's involvement and passion for economic and community development. Our Commercial Revitalization Project Manager Jahnavi Aluri and I remain at your service in downtown Jamaica. Please do not hesitate to reach out to our organization if we can be of help.

Sincerely,
Jenn Furioli
Executive Director

Valued Clean Team Member Froylan Tehuitzil

It is with great sadness that we are letting our Jamaica Center BID community know that one of our valued Clean Team members, Froylan Tehuitzil, recently passed away after a brief illness. Froylan worked in downtown Jamaica for many years and the mark he left on our community was profound. He was always present with a smile and a helpful attitude while providing one of the most valued services we offer, keeping the Avenue clean of litter, graffiti and illegal dumping. Many merchants knew him by name and frequently complimented his hard work, so much so that we recently recognized his contributions at our November Annual Meeting.
If you would like to honor Froylan, please consider contributing to the GoFundMe account set up in his memory by his family. We would also ask that you continue to pick up litter after yourselves and thank our other Clean Team members for their service when you see them on the street. We will miss Froylan deeply, but are grateful for the time he served as our colleague and friend. If you would like to contribute to Froylan’s GoFundme page please do so here.  

View the rest of our E-newsletter here!

HISTORIC LANDMARK CLOCK RETURNS TO JAMAICA AVENUE

Media Contact Jamaica Center BID
Trey Jenkins
Director of Marketing and Business Services
[email protected]
718-873-2506

HISTORIC LANDMARK CLOCK RETURNS TO JAMAICA AVENUE

Herculean restoration effort by community groups and Electeds brings old-world charm to Downtown Jamaica

Jamaica, Queens (December 13, 2021) – The Jamaica Center Business Improvement District (JBID) and the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation (GJDC) celebrated the completed restoration of the historic, century-old Jamaica Street clock on the corner of Union Hall Street and Jamaica Avenue in downtown Jamaica, Queens.

The Jamaica Avenue street clock was removed from its longstanding spot in early June and transported to Medfield, Massachusetts where the Electric Time Company, a company specializing in the restoration of antique street clocks, repaired the rusty base, post and dented head, restored the double face to a style closer to the original when first erected, and inserted new electronic mechanisms to propel the hands. The clock will be able to reset itself for daylight savings time without regular servicing. Funds for the project were provided by District 27 Council Member I. Daneek Miller and New York City’s Department of Small Business Services. Greater Jamaica Development Corporation and the Jamaica Center BID fundraised for and managed the project, while the nonprofit Save America’s Clocks provided horological expertise and technical assistance.

It was discovered during the restoration that the timepiece on Jamaica Avenue - which was created more than 100 years ago - is the only remaining sidewalk clock in New York City made by the Self-Winding Clock Company, a major manufacturer of electromechanical clocks founded in 1886 that closed its doors in the 1970’s.

“The clock hadn’t worked for many years. The face was grimy and covered in stickers and the door to the mechanical section was held together with duct tape,” said Jennifer Furioli of the Jamaica Center Business Improvement District. “I hadn’t been in my seat as Director of the BID more than a couple of weeks before I started receiving regular inquiries about the clock and whether our organization could do something about it. Ultimately this became 100 percent a community and team effort—without the construction management savvy of GJDC, technical expertise of Save America’s Clocks and both funding and specialized guidance from NYC SBS and our local Council Member I. Daneek Miller’s office, we wouldn’t have been able to bring this to the finish line.”

“While it took a village to restore this piece of Jamaica and American history, we are here today due to the tenacity of the late Thomas Crater who was the most vocal and well-known advocate for our neighborhood," said Justin Rodgers, interim president and CEO of the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation. “Tom felt this clock was symbolic of the area — if no one cares to fix the clock, no one cares to fix Jamaica. All the people involved with the restoration proves that Jamaica is in the hands of caring stewards and stakeholders.”

“The successful efforts of all involved with the restoration of the landmarked Jamaica Avenue clocks is a perfect example of the mission of Save America's Clocks:  A community-based project drawing attention to our neglected history and landscape,” said Tom Bernardin, founder and president of Save America’s Clocks. “We are proud to have been helpful in your endeavor.  We salute all involved.  May the clock stand proud for many years.”

About the Jamaica Center Business Improvement District

Founded at the Jamaica Center Improvement Association, Inc in 1979, the Jamaica Center BID is central to one of New York City’s fastest growing communities. Jamaica Center BID is the proud home to national and regional retailers, several major cultural and educational institutions as well as City, State and Federal Offices and more than 400 businesses. The Jamaica Center BID seeks to maintain Jamaica Center as a thriving business hub and premier destination to shop, work, live and play. To learn more and stay up-to-date on all happenings on Jamaica Avenue make sure to visit www.jamaica.nyc or follow JBID on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @jamcenterbid.

About Greater Jamaica Development Corporation

Formed in 1967, Greater Jamaica Development Corporation is a community-building organization that plans, promotes, coordinates and advances responsible development to revitalize Jamaica, Queens, and strengthen the region. Marshalling the resources of the public, private, and nonprofit sectors, GJDC’s mission is to foster affordable residential density, attract investment in amenities that enliven downtown, and accelerate entrepreneurship and creation of quality jobs.

About Save America’s Clocks

Save America’s clocks is a national preservation organization and a certified 501(c) (3) not-for-profit dedicated to locating, inventorying and assisting in the preservation and maintenance of all of America's public clocks, including street (post), tower and church and digital clocks. Other New York City clocks designated as Save America’s Clocks projects include the Yorkville Clock and the Clock at 346 Broadway (Manhattan), the clock at 495 Flatbush (Brooklyn) and the Steinway Clock in Queens. Visit www.clocks.org for more information.

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SEASONAL SURPRISES TO ENLIVEN JAMAICA AVENUE THIS SATURDAY AND NEXT

Media Contact:          
Trey Jenkins
Director of Marketing and Business Services
[email protected]
718-873-2506

For Immediate Release:

SEASONAL SURPRISES TO ENLIVEN JAMAICA AVENUE THIS SATURDAY AND NEXT

Jamaica, Queens, December 3, 2021 – Seasonal Surprises will enliven the sidewalks of Jamaica Avenue this Saturday (December 4th) and next (December 11th) when the Jamaica Center Business Improvement District presents its ‘Tis the Season holiday shopping promotion.

Designed to entice shoppers to “Get your holiday shopping done, while having fun!” ‘Tis the Season will run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on each Saturday and will involve free outdoor entertainment, in-store discounts, and surprise goodies and giveaways throughout the downtown Jamaica corridor.

Slated entertainment on both weekends will involve a drop-off location at Parsons Public Space (Parsons and Jamaica Avenue) where children (and still-believing adults!) can submit their letters to Santa--to be safely delivered to the North Pole by the NYPD; character photos with “Jammy the Snowman” and his trusty friend Mr. Penguin; free hot chocolate (while supplies last) at the new Avenue NYC Café located in the Jamaica Market at 90-40 160th St; discounts ranging from 10 to 20 percent at 13 retailers and restaurants; free giveaways distributed by volunteers along the Avenue; and hands-on art and crafts activities presented by a local artist Shanice Figeroux and the Home Depot. King Manor Museum, Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning, and Edge School of the Arts will host drop-in activities on both Saturdays.

Additionally, the following special entertainment is slated for the following days:

Saturday, December 4th:

Saturday, December 11th:

The festivities will end when Cultural Collaborative Jamaica, another key community partner, lights their Annual Holiday tree at Rufus King Park at dusk on the 11th. More information on Cultural Collaborative Jamaica’s holiday tree lighting can be found at Cultural Collaborative Jamaica’s Instagram @culturalcollab.

“Last year was a terrible year for businesses, and consumers became more oriented than ever towards shopping online due to the pandemic. This year we wanted to do something special to encourage our customers to return to holiday shopping in our local downtown Jamaica, re-engage with their neighbors and support our local economy. A seasonal celebration for all, but a safe one that is spread out and mostly outdoors allowing for social distancing, seemed like the right way to go,” said Jennifer Furioli, Executive Director of the Jamaica Center BID. “We decided to amplify existing promotions and events that our friends at JCAL, King Manor and Cultural Collaborative were already doing, while adding a little seasonal panache of our own through additional giveaways and pop-up al fresco sidewalk entertainment.”

‘Tis the Season was made possible by a business support grant from the JFK International Air Terminal. If successful, it is something the BID hopes to repeat and grow in the future.

To learn more about the Jamaica Center BID and stay up-to-date on all happenings on Jamaica Avenue, make sure to visit jamaica.nyc, sign up for our weekly newsletter and follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

About the Jamaica Center Business Improvement District (BID)

Founded as the Jamaica District Management Association in 1979, the Jamaica Center BID is central to one of New York City’s fastest growing communities. Jamaica Center BID is the proud home to national and regional retailers, several major cultural and educational institutions as well as City, State and Federal Offices, and more than 400 businesses. The Jamaica Center BID seeks to maintain Jamaica Center as a thriving business hub and premier destination to shop, work, live and play. For more info visit jamaica.nyc.

Home Depot and Jamaica Center BID Partner to Decorate Small Business Storefront for the Holidays

Home Depot and Jamaica Center BID Partner to Decorate Small Business Storefronts for the Holidays 

Perhaps while walking down the Avenue you noticed that many of our small business storefronts have a little extra holiday flair this year. That’s all thanks to Home Depot, located at 92-30 168th St which partnered with our BID to add pizazz to the storefronts of 13 businesses. 

Earlier this month, a large team of volunteers from Home Depot, armed with strings of holiday lights, garlands of greenery, ribbons, and wreaths joined our BID team to visit Pretty Women (165-09 Jamaica Ave), MA Perfume (165-12 Jamaica Ave), Blue Angels Bridal (166-01 Jamaica Ave), Make Me Over Beauty Bar (166-11 Jamaica Ave), European Wax Center (166-16 Jamaica Ave), Don’t Panic (164-09 Jamaica Ave), DJ Electronics (161-11 Jamaica Ave), Hook & Reel Cajun Seafood & Bar (166-21 Jamaica Avenue), M&M Fashion (155-29 Jamaica Avenue) and Rincon Salvadoreno (92-14 149th Street) for an outdoor (and in some cases, indoor) holiday makeover. The team even filled an unsightly empty tree pit with a temporary holiday tree (we hope to fill the tree pit with a *real* tree later this year, thanks to the generous continued support of our tree planting efforts in collaboration with The Horticultural Society of New York by Council Member James Gennaro’s office).  

We’re grateful to Home Depot for its community-minded outlook. The store was helpful earlier this summer when we partnered with SEQ Clean-UpLinden Studios, and Cambria Heights Florist to beautify Parsons Public Space’s 39 planters by providing mulch, cleaning supplies, and leagues of volunteers to green the area. Now, in addition to their Holiday storefront efforts, Home Depot is also planning on participating in our ‘Tis the Season local shopping events taking place on Saturdays 12/4 and 12/11 with a hands-on activity table.  

View the rest of our E-newsletter here!

Jamaica Center Business Improvement District Holds Their 42nd Annual Meeting

Media Contact: 
Trey Jenkins 
Director of Marketing and Business Services 
[email protected] 
718-873-2506 

For Immediate Release: 

JAMAICA CENTER BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT HOLDS THEIR 42nd ANNUAL MEETING 

Jamaica, Queens, November 9, 2021 – The Jamaica Center BID celebrated their 42nd annual meeting today in a now familiar setting, via Zoom! 

Adam Behnke, Chief Business Officer at Queensboro FC, was the keynote speaker for this special event. He spoke about the plans of the team to build a stadium on the York College campus and the expected influx of new customers it would bring on game days to downtown businesses. Outgoing District 27 Council Member I. Daneek Miller, the Queens Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Thomas Gretch, and the BID’s own Clean Team sanitation member Froylan Tehuitzil all received an honorary certificate from the BID for their unique contributions to downtown Jamaica and the business community. 

Executive Director of the Jamaica Center BID, Jennifer Furioli, provided a programmatic update on behalf of the Business Improvement District. In addition to contributing 16,923 hours of sanitation work in FY21, the BID removed 31,247 instances of graffiti from storefronts and public fixtures downtown, an increase of 37% from the year prior. The BID also supplemented the cleanliness of downtown by partnering with local civic groups and other businesses to tidy side streets and public spaces not included within the BID’s boundaries, but immediately adjacent. Abuela Neighborhood Maintenance, Friends of Rufus King Park, Cultural Collaborative Jamaica, SE Queens Cleanup, Lindon Studios and Cambria Heights Florist were all groups or businesses the BID partnered with in the last year for additional “cleaning and greening.” At the Annual Meeting, the BID also announced a new partnership with City Clean Up Corps to do a series of additional “side street cleanups” on weekends from December to mid-January. 

In addition to cleaning the downtown, the BID reported that it continued working to beautify the area, noting tree plantings and refurbishment of several tree pits that had occurred in the past year thanks to funding from Council Member Gennaro (District 24), expertise and implementation from the NYC Horticultural Society, and supplementary flower plantings paid for by the JFK International Air Terminal. The BID, in partnership with the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation and Save America’s Clocks also made progress restoring the historic street clock at the corner of Union Hall and Jamaica Avenue. The clock, which was removed in June for a complete restoration and repair after years of neglect, is expected to be returned to its rightful place by calendar year’s end. Council Member Miller and the Department of Small Business Services paid for the project. 

On the business support front, the BID continues to focus on the success of a key program that was introduced to the downtown Jamaica community last year in the middle of the Coronavirus pandemic, JBID-Alerts!, a cell phone notification program where the BID can rapidly notify businesses or property owners if there is a district-wide emergency on Jamaica Avenue or if timely Coronavirus news affecting businesses is released. Over the past year, participation in JBID-Alerts! grew by 22%. After Hurricane Ida, with the help of JBID-Alerts!, the BID was able to immediately send special emergency recovery and grant information into the hands of 124 businesses and quickly poll the business community on damage sustained. 

The BID also distributed over 7,500 PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and hundreds of bottles of hand sanitizer since last November to businesses and received a Strategic Impact Grant “SIG” from New York City’s Department of Small Business Services which allowed it to provide support to an additional 193 storefronts just outside of the main BID boundaries. In total, the SIG grant resulted in 386 individual business support “touchpoints” that included helping businesses apply for loans and grants in partnership with the Queens Chamber, raising awareness regarding nearby free business counseling centers, and coordinating marketing videos in partnership with video content creator and storyteller Alan Goldsher.  

Business safety was a key issue during the pandemic. The Jamaica Merchants Business Trespass Program was created in partnership with Greater Jamaica Development Corporation, the NYPD 103rd Precinct, elected officials and Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz’s office which the BID signed on to be part of to help businesses that were receiving severe harassment. Since its launch, 14 new businesses have signed up. 

Downtown’s growing retail environment was the final focus of the meeting. Ms. Furioli pointed out the ribbon-cutting parade the BID held in February to celebrate new businesses that opened during (or immediately before) the pandemic. At the parade, five businesses were feted by a New Orleans-style brass band and community leaders waiving ribbons and holding I Love Jamaica Ave signs, while each business cut a celebratory ribbon. Additional new businesses that have opened since (or are expected to open shortly) include Target, Jollibee’s, coffee and pastry shop Avenue Café NYC, the Edge School of the Arts and BK Lobster. 

Moving into the next year, the BID will focus on continued restoration of the Avenue’s tree canopy, helping businesses understand and deal with City capital projects (notably the conversion of Parsons Public Space into a permanent plaza at Parsons and Jamaica Avenue, and the Department of Transportation’s recent installation of a pilot busway project on Jamaica Avenue), and welcoming residents of the many new apartment buildings to their local shopping corridor. 

The Annual Meeting concluded with final remarks from President Michael Hirschhorn. 

To learn more about the Jamaica Center BID and stay up-to-date on all happenings on Jamaica Avenue, make sure to visit jamaica.nyc, sign up for our weekly newsletter and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

About the Jamaica Center Business Improvement District (BID) 

Founded as the Jamaica District Management Association in 1979, the Jamaica Center BID is central to one of New York City’s fastest growing communities. Jamaica Center BID is the proud home to national and regional retailers, several major cultural and educational institutions as well as City, State and Federal Offices, and more than 400 businesses. The Jamaica Center BID seeks to maintain Jamaica Center as a thriving business hub and premier destination to shop, work, live and play. For more info visit jamaica.nyc

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What a Difference a Bit of Green Makes!

This week downtown got a little greener. Last Saturday our BID planted dozens of bright yellow and red mums and ornamental cabbages and laid fresh mulch in the two tree pits in front of Beverly Hills Furniture (149-01 Jamaica Avenue). You may recall from past newsletters that these tree pits were previously empty without tree guards and compromised pits. Thanks to funding from District 24 Council Member James Gennaro’s office and partnership with the Horticultural Society of New York, we were able to plant two new downtown trees and install four decorative tree guards earlier this year. Saturday's fall flower planting (plant materials provided by a generous grant from JFKIAT) added the final flourish, beautifying a portion of this block for the better and enhancing the downtown shopper experience. This is just a taste of what we feel the entirety of Jamaica Avenue should look like. Restoring our tree canopy, beautifying ALL of our tree pits, and introducing a horticultural program that would delight shoppers, support businesses, and enhance our environment with seasonal plant displays would make a big difference in our downtown. For now, our team will continue making small, but significant changes such as these, with the hope that we will eventually, through sponsorships and government partner support, be able to grow Jamaica green!


On the same day of this exciting tree pit makeover, JBID partnered with Cultural Collaborative JamaicaFriends of Rufus King Park, and the Abuela Neighborhood Maintenance for ‘It’s My Park Day & Community Cleanup.’ We first cleared litter from tree pits, sidewalks and gutters on 163rd Street (mid-block parking garage) to Jamaica Avenue, filling dozens of trash bags and continuing our commitment to providing shoppers a positive first impression of our shopping corridor the minute they descend from the parking lot or subway. Then we planted hundreds of tulips and daffodil bulbs at both entrances of Rufus King Park and in front of King Manor Museum. Below are some photos from this past weekend. We look forward to bringing three more cleanup days to downtown Jamaica in the coming months! Thanks to JFKIAT’s grant, we were able to purchase all cleaning supplies and additional tulip bulbs and daffodil bulbs to supplement bulbs provided by NYC Parks and the amazing Friends of Rufus King Park. 

View the rest of our E-newsletter here!

Farewell to Alba, our CUNY Service Corps Intern

Over the past six weeks you may have seen a friendly new face downtown working on behalf of our Business Improvement District. Alba M. came to us as a CUNY Service Corps student through an internship program designed to help New York City’s economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. Building on CUNY’s history of service to New York City, the CUNY Service Corps creates opportunities for students, faculty, and staff at the university to work on projects that improve the City’s short and long-term civic, economic and environmental sustainability. 

Over her six-week placement, Alba helped monitor and address streetscape and quality of life issues. She translated many of our business communications materials into Spanish, updated our downtown business directory and vacant storefront list, distributed information about new merchant safety programs and the proposed Jamaica Avenue busway to all of our storefronts, collected pedestrian counts, solicited public feedback on desired streetscape and beautification enhancements downtown, and undertook a comprehensive survey of all tree pits along our 30 block faces. Before she departed, our Executive Director, Jenn Furioli, took a moment to catch up with Alba about her experience: 

Jenn: We’re so glad to have you here, Alba! Tell us why you wanted to participate in CUNY Service Corps?
Alba:I wanted to do something with my time this summer and when the opportunity to work with CUNY Service Corps became available I jumped at the chance as way to get work experience and get to know New York City.
What have you learned about Business Improvement Districts and the kind of work we do? 
Alba: Before I started this position, I didn’t know what BIDs were. Now when I walk down the street in my own neighborhood, I notice if someone is cleaning the street and look for their uniform. I try and figure out if other neighborhoods I visit have a BID. I notice things like the cleanliness of the street, or items that need to be reported to 311.
Jenn: Yes, that’s an occupational hazard of working in our industry. One’s ability to walk down the street and not obsessively notice things like cleanliness, overflowing trashcans or items necessitating a 311 call is forever altered. I think you may end up being a BID Director in the future. But if that isn’t your chosen career path, what else interests you?
Alba: I’d actually like to join the police force and become a detective.

Thanks, Alba, for your service to the Jamaica Avenue community! We were lucky to have you as part of our team, and we appreciate the attentive efforts Jahnavi Aluri, our BID’s program manager, who has mentored and supervised Alba during her time with us. Stay tuned for a Day in the BID Life of article featuring Jahnavi in an upcoming e-newsletter.  

View the rest of E-newsletter here.

Don’t Miss These Great Events!

Downtown is bustling with exciting events this month, starting this weekend when Cultural Collaborative Jamaica’sJAMS Fest returns to the Ave! JAMS will be celebrating its 25th anniversary kicking off with JAMS Under the Stars at Rufus King Park tonight (Friday 8/6) from 6-10pm. Tomorrow (Saturday, 8/7) 11am - 7pm, JAMS Fest begins with a 10-block open air festival with entertainment, music, shopping and more. Follow #jamaicafestival2021. Our team will be present soliciting community input on beautification desires for Jamaica Avenue with an opportunity to win a $50 gift card to a local restaurant—so be sure to stop by!

Meanwhile, King Manor Museum’s (153-03 Jamaica Avenue) Hands-on History month continues, with a focus on curiosity cabinets (miniature early museums of the 18th century that helped early Americans learn about nature and culture). Join King Manor Museum in the making of your own curiosity cabinet. Learn more and register here

On Saturday, August 21, Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning’s (JCAL) VITALS (a free outdoor health and wellness festival highlighting organizations and entrepreneurs advancing health equity amongst communities of color) will take place at the Jamaica Performing Arts Center (153-10 Jamaica Avenue). Enjoy live musicians from The Dream Unfinished and the Harlem Chamber Players. RSVP here

Speaking of live performances, we were pleased to sponsor and be in attendance at JCAL’s most recent Mic Drop last Friday which featured tap dancer and instructor, Omar Edwards and Carlos Noel, David Sincere Aiken and Lyle Omolayo at Parsons Public Space. Don’t miss the next Mic Drop which will take place on August 27.

View the rest of our e-newsletter here.

Coffee Break at The Avenue Café NYC

We are happy to welcome the new coffee shop The Avenue Café NYC to Jamaica Avenue! The coffee shop is located inside Jamaica Market (90-40 160th Street). They have all that you need from Stumptown Coffee, teas and fresh pastries including the Nutella Dream Cruffin and Bacon, Egg and Cheese Breaktarts. We caught up with the owner Stephen Kanhai to speak to him about his new place: 

Tell us what made you want to open The Avenue Café NYC?
I grew up and currently live in Jamaica, Queens.  I truly believe in the concept of “Bloom where you are planted.” I really love cafes where it’s not just another business in the community, it actually becomes part of the fabric of the community. Community is important to me! 

Is Avenue Café NYC a family business?
The Cafe is a family business. My wife and I have been dreaming of opening one for years! 

What’s a little-known fact about yourself?
I love farming and growing produce. 

What’s your favorite business on Jamaica Avenue?
Two businesses come to mind. Alexis Caribbean (In Unique Food Court) and Jamaican Flavors.

What business would you want to see on Jamaica Avenue?
I would love to see a sporting good store or a bookstore! 

How can people help or learn more about your business?
People can help by becoming customers and trying our delicious offerings! You can learn more about our business on social media. Follow us on Instagram and Facebook @theavenuecafenyc! 

View the rest of our e-newsletter here.

Jamaica Center BID Partners With Local Organizations To Beautify Parsons Public Space

Media Contact Jamaica Center BID
Trey Jenkins
Director of Marketing and Business Services
[email protected]
718-873-2506

For Immediate Release:

JAMAICA CENTER BID PARTNERS WITH LOCAL ORGANIZATIONS TO BEAUTIFY PARSONS PUBLIC SPACE

Jamaica, Queens, June 11, 2021 – On Sunday, June 13, the Jamaica Center BID (JBID) in collaboration with Southeast Queens Cleanup (SEQ Cleanup Initiative), Linden Studio 17 and Cambria Heights Florist will be hosting a Jamaica Avenue Community Clean-Up and Beautification event at Parsons Public Space in downtown Jamaica. Parsons Public Space was constructed by NYC DOT in downtown Jamaica several years ago as a temporary public space and is scheduled to become a permanent public plaza after additional work by NYC’s Department of Design and Construction is complete (timeframe TBD.).  

Although Parsons Public Space does not fall within the Jamaica Center BID’s boundaries, the BID decided to coordinate a clean-up and beautification initiative there this summer due to its prominent location and importance to the downtown community.

“We noticed that many of the original shrubs in the 35 planters at Parsons had died or toppled over, and no decorative greenery or flowers remained,” said Jennifer Furioli, Executive Director of the Jamaica Center BID. “Parsons Public Space is one of Jamaica Avenue’s “front yards” and first impressions for those coming to  shop . By providing a clean sweep to remove litter and planting some new greenery, we hope to provide a better experience this summer for downtown Jamaica’s returning workers and shoppers as we fully reopen downtown for business.”

The event is the second community clean-up event the BID has done in collaboration with SEQ Cleanup Initiative, a new grassroots nonprofit in southeast Queens. The first, a “side-street clean up” this past December removed litter from the high-trafficked 162nd Street, a side street leading from a popular parking lot to Jamaica Avenue in order to give shoppers a more positive first impression as they approached downtown for holiday shopping.

Antoinette “DJ Nett” Lawson, founder of SEQ Cleanup Initiative will provide volunteers to help clean up and plant greenery at Parsons Public Space. “SEQ Cleanup's mission is to inspire Southeast Queens residents to "do their part" to be proactive when it comes to the revitalization and beautification of this community. When we all do our part, we are one step closer to reaching our intended goal,” said founder of SEQ Cleanup Initiative DJ Nett.

The Jamaica Avenue Community Beautification event will take place from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Sunday. Additional community partners involved in the event include  Alana Simmons, founder and owner of Linden Studio 17, who is providing project management and promotional support for the event,  Cambria Heights Florist, who will provide expertise and guidance on the planting portion of the event, and the 103rd Precinct’s Community Affairs division. The Home Depot store located at 92-30 168th Street donated soil and cleaning supplies for the event and the three restaurants fronting Parsons Public Space: Golden Krust, Popeye’s and Dunkin’ Donuts are providing meals for the volunteers. Once planted, the flowers and greenery will be watered during the summer by the adjacent landlord, Mattone Investors.

“This is truly a community-led initiative with established and new nonprofits, local business, property owners and every day volunteers pitching in to make this happen,” said Jennifer Furioli. “We’re thrilled to work with SEQ Cleanup again and are grateful to Linden Studios and Cambria Heights Florist for their community leadership in this particular event.”

In addition to the cleaning and greening, volunteers will begin construction on a Little Reading Library, which the coordinators of this event hope to install near Rufus King Park later this summer.

The BID expects to clean-up Parsons Public space again in the fall and to do other activations at Parsons Public space thanks to a recent grant received by the JFK International Air Terminal.

To learn more about the Jamaica Center BID and stay up-to-date on all happenings on Jamaica Avenue, make sure to visit www.Jamaica.nyc, sign up for our weekly newsletter and follow us onFacebook, Twitter and Instagram.

About the Jamaica Center Business Improvement District (BID)
Founded as the Jamaica District Management Association in 1979, the Jamaica Center BID is central to one of New York City’s fastest growing communities. Jamaica Center BID is the proud home to national and regional retailers, several major cultural and educational institutions as well as City, State and Federal Offices, and more than 400 businesses. The Jamaica Center BID seeks to maintain Jamaica Center as a thriving business hub and premier destination to shop, work, live and play.

About Southeast Queens Cleanup Initiative   
Founded by DJ Nett, SEQ Cleanup engages local volunteers to assist with picking up litter in the local parks, potting and planting in local community gardens, as well as helping with painting of murals to add to the beautification of Southeast Queens. SEQ Cleanup's motto is "DO YOUR PART... When each member of the community does their part, we are one step closer to our collective goal." Instagram: Seqcleanup

About Linden Studio 17

Founded by Alana Simmons, Linden Studio 17 Inc. is located in St. Albans, Queens. Linden Studio 17 was established to be a service to the community. As an event space for rental services, Linden Studio 17 have sponsored multiple organizations and programs to use the studio at little to no cost and sponsor outside projects and organizations as well. Instagram: lindenstudio17

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Jamaica Avenue: Not Just Surviving…But Thriving!

The COVID-19 pandemic has decimated retail across the city and nation, but downtown Jamaica serves as a beacon of hope as new businesses, independent and national, continue to open on the Avenue.

Most recently we welcomed the long-awaited Target, located in the lower-level of (160-08 Jamaica Avenue), just below Burlington. Here you’ll find a nice selection of groceries (plenty of organics too!), games, cute lamps, general home goods and a new CVS pharmacy.

Just a couple blocks east at the corner of Union Hall and Jamaica Avenue is another newcomer—Jamaican Flavors (162-02 Jamaica Avenue), selling patties, coco bread and some delectable looking desserts (look for the blue awning). Of course our team is eagerly awaiting the opening of Jollibee (skip to our article below to read our detective work regarding what we can expect when the Jamaica Avenue location finally opens).

And, in case you missed the pics a few weeks ago, we’re resharing photos from our BID’s ribbon-cutting parade last month, when we celebrated five new businesses that have opened, survived, and thrived on the Avenue since the start of the pandemic. Our BID, along with several of our elected officials, stopped by Dunkin Donuts (163-18 Jamaica Avenue)Diamond Braces (166-16 Jamaica Avenue)European Wax (166-16 Jamaica Avenue)MA Perfume (165-12 Jamaica Avenue) and Hook and Reel (161-21 Jamaica Avenue), allowing each store owner or manager to cut the ribbon, meet their local representatives and get the warm welcome they deserve, all set to background music by brass band Underground Horns.

You can view coverage of the ribbon-cutting parade here and here and view the photos of the event here. Special thanks to Queens Borough President Donovan Richards from coming out to our special event along with Council Members Adrienne Adams, I. Daneek Miller, and Assembly Member Alicia Hyndman. 

View the rest of our e-newsletter here.

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