A major stop on the AirTrain from Kennedy International Airport has long offered a troublesome first impression for travelers visiting New York.
Scarred by poverty, crime and blighted conditions, that transit hub in Jamaica, Queens, has generally been more of a place to contemplate from train platforms than to stroll through on the ground.
But sweeping plans are being made to rejuvenate the area with new hotels, stores and apartments, with hopes of persuading some of those travelers to step off the platform and stay a while.
“Our area has needed a face-lift for quite some time now,” said Adrienne Adams, the chairwoman of Queens Community Board 12 and a Jamaica resident for more than two decades. “And I think for the most part people will be quite pleased with the results.”
The effort to lure tourists is focused on a small slice of the area, around the intersection of Archer Avenue and Sutphin Boulevard.
Besides the AirTrain, the intersection is served by the Long Island Rail Road, three subway lines and more than a dozen bus routes. One result is the kind of bustling public transportation hub that has become catnip for developers who believe that people no longer want to be so dependent on their cars.