Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Will Southeast Queens Residents Have A Say In The Major Renovations In The Area?

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"Let Your Voices be Heard!" 

By Danielle Douglas, The Queens Connection Team

Over the past fifteen years, there has been a focus on the downtown area of Jamaica. As a result, there has been significant public investment. Major investments include the $350 million AirTrain terminal that connects Jamaica to JFK Airport; an expansive rezoning in 2007 that promoted density around the AirTrain terminal, a $153 million commitment from the City of New York through the Jamaica NOW!

Action Plan, and a $10 million investment commitment through the Downtown Revitalization Initiative from New York State.  As a result of the public investment activity,  there has been over $1 billion of planned or completed private investment, leading to more than 1,500 new apartments, 2,000 hotel rooms, and 200,000 square feet of commercial space completed and pending in the downtown area.

In addition to the economic development activity taking place in Downtown Jamaica, John F. Kennedy (JFK) Airport will also be undergoing a major renovation which will be a $10 billion dollar project over a (10) ten year period. The JFK Project has the potential to have a major impact on our community  as a whole for generations to come.

Southeast Queens Redevelopment Article Continues After Sponsor's Message Below...
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Southeast Queen Redevelopment Article Continues Below...

The vision of Governor Cuomo for the JFK Redevelopment Project Based on the recommendations of the Governor’s Airport Advisory Panel, the vision plan lays out a comprehensive, airport-wide framework to create a unified, world-class airport. In order to accommodate the dramatic expected growth at the airport and keep New York’s economy moving forward, 

The vision plan addresses three key areas. They are:
  1. Transform JFK into a unified, interconnected, world class airport
  2. Improve road access to the airport
  3. Expand rail mass transit to meet projected passenger growth
By setting a new course at JFK, the airport has the potential to drive up to $7 billion in private investment for this transformation.

The on-airport transformation focuses on six core areas:
  1. Create a unified, interconnected terminal layout
  2. Redesign the on-airport traffic pattern
  3. Centralize parking lots
  4. Ensure world-class amenities
  5. Expanded taxiways
  6. State-of-the-art security technology
What is the Vision and Core Areas of Importance to Us ( the people who live and work in this community)?

In anticipation of the JFK Redevelopment Project, a grassroots community group, The Queens Connection Team, was formed last year to develop a framework for a Community Benefits Package that can provide significant benefits to the community.

The Vision for Southeast Queens

The Vision is to empower the Southeast Queens community as major stakeholders in the overall economic development envisioned through the six core areas mentioned below through the active engagement of residents of the community.

The Community Benefits Package focuses on 6 core areas. They are:
  1. Economic Development
  2. Workforce Development
  3. Minority/Women Business Enterprises (MWBE)
  4. Small Business Development
  5. Environmental Justice and Health
  6. Education

All residents of Southeast Queens are part of The Queens Connection Team.

One of the primary goals is to create a substantial groundswell of community residents that can serve as a unified voice and vehicle in ensuring the community partakes and benefits from the overall economic development that is taking place and more specifically the redevelopment of JFK Airport.

How can this be done?

There has been several Town Hall meetings that have taken place by various stakeholders in the Community; Local Elected Officials, Queens Connection Team, Clergy, and other community organizations. 

The Governor's Office and The Port Authority of New York/New Jersey  have participated in several of these meetings to inform the community of what is currently being done and what they intend to do for the community. 

If not now, then when?

There will be two meetings taking place this week in Far Rockaway and St. Albans on Tuesday, July 17th and Wednesday, July 18th respectively. Please see flyer above. These meetings are being held directly by The Port Authority of New York/New Jersey.  Although, this dialogue is a work in progress  and there will be subsequent meetings. Now is the time to have your voices heard!

Transform Your Passion into Action!

Just as importantly, I will be providing information on how you can participate in one of the core  areas; Economic Development/Workforce Development, MWBE/Small Business, Environmental Justice/Health, and Education to assist in the process of building upon initiatives that are currently in the framework of the Community Benefits Package and identifying initiatives that need to be included.

I hope to see you at one of the meetings!

Your Fellow Neighbor, Danielle Douglas

Click The Following Links If you'd like to see Part 2 and Part 3 Of the JFK Airport Upgrade series 

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