Let there be light.
The Greater Jamaica Development Corp. turned on the lights at the Shops at Station Plaza on Tuesday, to mark the completion of the project, which is also known as the Long Island Railroad Underpass at Sutphin Boulevard Project. It is located on Sutphin Boulevard between Archer and 94th avenues under the LIRR tracks.
The renovations, which began in fall 2009, have transformed a loading dock area in the middle of the Jamaica transit hub into a more pedestrian-friendly location with special lighting over the street and sidewalk, and space for stores. There are also new commissary and service spaces, emergency generators and loading docks for the LIRR.
“It took a dark, dingy, and frankly unsafe area and developed it into a much more attractive, more productive use of the space,” said Fred Winters, the spokesman for the GJDC. “It makes it feel like it’s more a part of the community.”
The project cost $12.7 million and the funding was provided by the Port Authority with other money from the U.S. Department of Transportation, the city’s Economic Development Corp. and MTA capital funds.
Part of the retail space will be immediately occupied by Chashama and BroLab, both are arts and cultural groups, Winters said, while the GJDC begins leasing to several commercial tenants. There is 5,600 square feet for three spaces that could be consolidated into one.