Monday, March 12, 2012

Another Jamaica joke project

From the NY Post:

Two years after it opened as an “incubator” for small businesses, the $2.5 million Jamaica Export Centre — built with mostly taxpayer cash — is virtually deserted.

The dusty reception desk, which was supposed to serve up to eight businesses, is unoccupied. Downstairs, a meeting room is empty, and a sign out front says it is available for baby showers and birthday parties.

The 8,000-square-foot building near Kennedy Airport opened with great fanfare in 2010. Its mission was to help freight-forwarding and export companies owned by minorities and women. The businesses would get subsidized rent and shared services, such as a receptionist and meeting room.

Among the pols who showed up for the ribbon cutting were Rep. Gregory Meeks, state Assemblywoman Michele Titus and City Councilman Leroy Comrie, Democrats who each secured cash for the project.

About $1.7 million in taxpayer funds went into buying an old tire shop on Rockaway Boulevard and replacing it with the gleaming new two-story building. The state Dormitory Authority kicked in another $450,000 to buy a ramshackle house behind the property, which was torn down to create an ample parking lot.

The pols ponied up the money to the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce, which spearheaded the project, even though its president, Robert Richards, readily admitted that the group had never run a business incubator.

Today, just two businesses and a nonprofit have rented space at the center, and have done so only in the last five months. Richards refused to name the firms, but said they were not freight forwarders.


Anonymous said...

I think the picture says it all. Graft, pork, and wasted taxpayer dollars to mollify a certain element of the population. This was not the first and won't be the last.

Anonymous said...

Nothing can resurrect Jamaica.

It was on it's way down the toilet way before Flushing.

Now things are even getting worse.

Anonymous said...

I'ts Jamacia. Trying to start an honest business there has the same rate of success as opening an outdoor ice skating rink in Uganda.

3rd world DMZ.

Auntie Invasion said...

what is the non profit? Let me guess. It's either a drug rehab for ex-cons or yet another agency that assists illegal aliens.

Do I get a prize for the right answer?
what are the other companies?
I highly doubt they let any White Americans rent the government subsidized offices.

Do I get another prize for that?

Anony2 said...

As someone who works for an export company, let me point out that many freight forwarders have gone out of business since 2009 and a lot of them were bought out or merged with the major forwarders like Ceva. What were they thinking when they opened this building ?!

Anonymous said...

should invest in north jamaica, by the F train, near jamaica estates side.

Anonymous said...

Companies need to stop trying to build extravagance, instead use their development space to build (say a garden instead).

Anonymous said...

Anon no. 7: Richards and the Chamber of Commerce have never cared about the area around Hillside Avenue.