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Queens Chronicle

Jamaica looks to add a dining scene

BID showcases growing area to dining reps with ‘Jamaica Revealed’

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Posted: Thursday, December 12, 2013 10:30 am | Updated: 11:24 am, Thu Dec 19, 2013.

For years, fashionistas have flocked to downtown Jamaica’s bustling businesses, all while foodies have fled from the relatively restaurant-free landscape.

Downtown Jamaica may be feast for some and famine for others, but the Jamaica Center Business Improvement District is aiming to satisfy the hunger for a new cuisine scene.

That is the one piece of the puzzle that has been missing, according to Jamaica Center BID representative Katie Mirkin.

“If you look within the radius of Jamaica, it’s very dense and the household income is not low,” Mirkin said. “Because there’s not a dining scene here yet, we have a large office worker population that goes elsewhere for their dining needs.”

On Dec. 3, the Jamaica Center BID hosted a program entitled “Jamaica Revealed,” aimed at acquainting area property owners and tenants with representatives from restaurants potentially interested in establishing franchises in the area.

Twelve brokers were present at the seminar, including representatives from popular dining chains like Denny’s, Au Bon Pain, Dallas BBQ and Chili’s

Mirkin believed that the meeting, which featured speeches from marketing and business representatives as well as herself, went incredibly well and helped drum up support for a future restaurant scene in the area.

“It was a success. We had a great turnout,” Mirkin said. “We got great feedback from brokers that didn’t even know about the potential here.”

According to the BID, more than 260,000 people, including pedestrians and subway and train riders, traversed through downtown Jamaica on any given day in 2012. While these people find no issue enjoying the many shops or entertainment centers in the area, the restaurant industry is not well represented.

The BID, in a supplement handed out to attendees of the event, revealed that such potential can be quantified in the form of $196 million in unmet dining demands.

“At the end of the day, [restaurant owners] need to know that they will be making a profit when they invest in a new location,” Mirkin said. “People are starting to ... explore the market and these figures really stand out.”

Possible obstacles in the way of establishing a sizable amount of new eateries are the lack of sufficient parking and a relatively small amount of space currently available, but Mirkin says “it’s one of those things we will find solutions for.”

“Hopefully by this time next year,” she said, “we’ll have new restaurants to talk about.”

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1 comment:

  • CleanUpJamaicaQueens posted at 7:54 am on Sun, Dec 15, 2013.

    CleanUpJamaicaQueens Posts: 121

    Jamaica Center BID representative Katie Mirkin stated :"That is the one piece of the puzzle that has been missing" referring to the lack of quality restaurants. Really that is the one missing piece, how about quality retail, how about cleaning the area up.

    I have a few missing pieces. With the exception of a few retail stores, most stores on Jamaica Avenue are just total crap, low-end junk retail that no "fashionista" would even dare think to shop at (plus customer service is AWFUL in most stores there). There is very little as far as quality goes on Jamaica Avenue, tons of beauty supply shops (13 just on Jamaica Ave, really that is necessary), low end furniture stores, junk clothing stores, crappy 99 cent type stores, that god awful and probably illegal flea market, junk jewelry stores, junk electronic stores, plus the inside of most of these stores (again with a few exceptions) are a mess, junk just thrown all over the place, no sense of style, dirty, etc.).

    And speaking of dirty, the downtown area is not just dirty, it is filthy at times, with garbage that you so-called "fashionistas" throw all over the place because they do not know how to dispose of litter properly.

    Come on leaders of Jamaica, I know you have a job to do, but get real, there is more than one piece missing to this puzzle. Can you folks at least tell the truth instead of all this PR bull that most people see right through.

    I would love to see major improvements on Jamaica Avenue, but you at least need to come clean with the issues first and address them.