Downtown Jamaica has worked hard to reclaim its status as a destination for shoppers.
Now officials are hoping to make it a lively tourist hub, with plans for a dozen new hotels as well as residential towers and retail stores.
After decades of plans and proposals to revive the area, progress can be seen in two towers rising near Jamaica Station on Sutphin Boulevard.
One of those sites will hold a Fairfield Inn and Courtyard by Marriott with more than 300 rooms; and the other, a mixed income housing development.
Hope Knight, president of the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation, said the group hopes to attract travelers who would otherwise stay in hotels outside John F. Kennedy Airport, where there is little for them to do.
“Being able to stay in downtown Jamaica is a competitive advantage,” said Knight, who pointed out the AirTrain, subway and Long Island Rail Road all stop at Jamaica Station. “And they can get to Downtown Brooklyn or Penn Station in 20 minutes.”