Sutphin Avenue in Jamaica via Panoramio
Not yet, but that’s just what the new head of the neighborhood’s Business Improvement District (BID) is planning.
To realize her goal of turning Jamaica into one of NYC’s hot tourist spots, Rhonda Binda is organizing neighborhood tours and launching a series of pop-up installations that would focus on the community’s history and culture, as well as local artists. In partnership with the Queens Tourism Council, she hopes these offerings will attract both locals and visitors alike, especially those who have layovers at JFK airport.
Rhonda Binda, a former White House employee who got her law degree at Georgetown University, became Executive Director of the Jamaica Center BID last month. She is a Jamaica native and currently lives in the neighborhood. She feels that Jamaica is “a gateway for the international community that’s coming to New York.”
Rendering of the Crossing
Along with her tourism goal, Binda hopes to attract more sit-down restaurants and quality stores to the area, as it’s currently overwhelmed with fast food. According to DNAinfo, data from the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation shows that “Jamaica residents spend more than $400 million on dining and about $200 million on clothing and shoes outside the neighborhood each year,” which is money Binda would like to see spent locally. Right on track with her vision, a slew of new upscale residences and hotels are planned for the neighborhood, including a 24-story Hilton Garden Inn and the Crossing, a 580-unit luxury complex with 100,000 square feet of retail space that will be built next to the JFK AirTrain station.
The BID’s walking tours would include stops at locations important to jazz and hip-hop history, old churches, and a variety of ethnic restaurants. To encourage more nightlife downtown, the BID will also organize comedy shows, concerts, and film screenings.
What do you think, is Jamaica the next hot tourist spot? Let us know in the comments.
Neighborhoods : Jamaica