Investments from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative and Mayor Bill de Blasio and Queens Borough President Melinda Katz’s Jamaica Now Action Plan have spurred new business development in Downtown Jamaica.
New York & Company, a women’s work-wear retailer, had a grand opening at 159-10 Jamaica Ave. on Thursday. This comes nearly a month after H&M, a Swedish retailer that makes clothes for men, women and children, opened up shop one block away at 160-10.
Michael Mattone, the property owner, was proud to have New York & Company in Jamaica and as a part of his firm’s portfolio in Jamaica, which also includes Old Navy and the Jamaica Multiplex.
“It was a good fit with our other projects, but it was also synergistic with the other retail that was there on Jamaica Avenue,” said Mattone. “It was a retailer that has a presence in New York and was tuned-on in what was going on in terms of fashion.”
While the numbers are not out yet, the store received plenty of foot traffic within an hour of opening, according to the Jamaica Center Business Improvement District, a non-profit dedicated to advancing the region’s commercial corridor.
“The news does my heart good,” said Mattone. “That is a really strong location at the intersection of Parsons Boulevard and Jamaica Avenue with a lot of foot traffic there, but even knowing that you still had to have the right retailers there to take advantage of that. You can have the right location, but if you don’t have the right tenants you miss the ball.”
The funds going to the area and the vital multicultural energy have made the region a place for entrepreneurs to come to Jamaica too.
Kevin James of MacShack, a mac-and-cheese specialty food joint, and Dawn Kelly of The Nourish Spot juice bar both opened up small businesses in the area in the past few years.
“Currently, Jamaica has a very vibrant day-time population there,” said Mattone. “Jamaica is very steady and there wasn’t a tremendous amount of overdevelopment in Jamaica like in other parts of Queens.”
As for H&M, its grand opening garnered 750 people on July 18 shattering numbers in terms of initial foot traffic, according to JCBID, and the company is excited to be in this region of Queens.
“We are always on the lookout for the best locations. We believe we found this in Jamaica,” said H&M spokesman Patrick Shaner.
H&M is currently providing a back-to-school sale where customers who spend $60 can get 20 percent off of kid’s items with the code 3406 online.