From the Queens Tribune:
A development project intended to stimulate the economy of downtown Jamaica – as well as bring aesthetic appeal – may be facing budget cuts that would preserve the function but abandon its artistic form.
The Greater Jamaica Development Corp., which has been acting for more than 40 years as the key architect of growth, zoning changes and remediation of Downtown Jamaica, was hoping to receive $15.9 million of City funding for the Atlantic Avenue extension project – a key part of a massive urban renewal project around the new AirTrain station.
Under the plan, the community surrounding Atlantic Avenue would be transformed into a mixed-use business district around the Jamaica Station and AirTrain complex, bringing commercial space, several parks, residential units, and retail to the area. The complete project design also includes several parks and visual improvements to the one-way pair of 94th and 95th Avenues.
When the possibility of a $10 million funding cut came to the attention of GJDC earlier this year, the organization reached out to then-Economic Development Corp. Executive Vice President Madelyn Wils, asking for the funds to remain. Wils responded to GJDC President Carlisle Towery that the City was unable to return the project to its $15.9 million plan due to the economy, though the EDC agreed to work with GJDC to change the scope of the project to fit a potential change in budget.