From the Times Ledger:
The state has approved a chamber of commerce for Douglaston Village as a nonprofit, allowing the group to move forward with its plans to revitalize the small shopping strip on 235th Street along the Long Island Rail Road tracks.
Dorothy Matinale, who operates Station Realty, said the Douglaston Village Chamber of Commerce was approved by the state this week to function as a corporation, enabling the organization to collect funds from members and open a bank account.
“The goal is to revitalize the village area,” said Matinale, who is the executive director of the chamber. “It’s become less the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker. People want more businesses they can support — shops they can patronize when they get off the train. We want to preserve the quaintness of the village. We don’t want it to become a strip mall.”
In past years, the village has been overtaken by business offices, she said.
The chamber, established in April, currently has 15 members, including business and building owners. There are a total of 47 businesses along the strip.
In the 1800s, community residents could walk more easily between the stores, Matinale said. But the LIRR later separated the two halves of the shopping district along 235th Street.
Matinale said the community is calling for a meat market, a florist and a bakery along the street, but also a book shop, art studios and a community center for theater or youth groups.