Queens Borough President Melinda Katz today announced the allocation of more than one million dollars in capital funds to pay for streetscape improvements along commercial corridors in several Queens neighborhoods.

     The improvements are intended to enhance and revitalize commercial shopping districts in order to promote business development and investment in those areas and to encourage residents to patronize local establishments.  It is widely recognized that urban areas need to have attractive commercial shopping districts to ensure the development of healthy, vibrant neighborhoods.

      "The commercial corridors found in the diverse neighborhoods throughout Queens are key assets and economic engines for our borough,” Borough President Katz said. “The funds I am allocating to enhance these commercial corridors will help them maximize their potential as retail centers and civic gathering places. These capital improvements will help our borough's small businesses create jobs and offer quality goods and services for many years to come."

     The allocations total $1,110,950 and will fund seven projects to take place along commercial corridors in Queens. Borough President Katz worked with local neighborhood organizations to determine the best ways the Borough President could allocate this commercial corridor funding, which will be distributed through several City agencies.

The funded projects are as follows:
1)       DOWNTOWN JAMAICA – $229,000
Location: Jamaica Avenue between 168th Street and Sutphin Boulevard and Union Hall Street between Jamaica Avenue and Archer Avenue
Partner Organization: Jamaica Center Business Improvement District
Project Description: 102 decorative pedestrian arms will be added to light poles along the specified streets
2)      SUNNYSIDE – $56,950
Location: Queens Boulevard between 38 and 50th Streets and Greenpoint Avenue between 45th and 47th Streets.
Partner Organization: Sunnyside Shines Business Improvement District
Project Description:  The addition of 27 new street trees and tree guards and the expansion of tree beds
3)      ST ALBANS – $100,000
Location: Farmers Boulevard Corridor
Partner Organization: Farmers Boulevard Community Development Corporation
Project Description: Trees and plantings in the lot at 99th Avenue and Farmers Boulevard
                                    Creation of a Green Street at the intersection of Murdock Avenue and Farmers Boulevard
4)      ASTORIA- $200,000
Location: Steinway Street between Broadway and 30th Avenue
Partner Organization: Steinway Astoria Partnership
Project Description: Green space around the Steinway Clock between 30th and 31st Avenues
                                    Green space at the municipal lot between Broadway and 31st Avenue
5)      WOODHAVEN- $75,000
Location: Intersection of Jamaica Avenue and Woodhaven Boulevard
Partner Organization: Greater Woodhaven Development Corporation
Project Description: New Green Street with trees and plantings
6)      WOODHAVEN- $250,000
Location: Jamaica Avenue
Partner Organization: Greater Woodhaven Development Corporation
Project Description: Installation of energy efficient LED street lights underneath the elevated subway along Jamaica Avenue
7)      ROCKAWAY BEACH- $200,000
Location: Beach 116th Street from Beach Channel Drive to the ocean
Partner Organizations: Friends of Rockaway Beach and the 100th Precinct Community Council
Project Description: Streetscape improvements, including fencing and directional guides

     “We thank Borough President Melinda Katz for her strong commitment to improving the Sunnyside commercial district,” said Rachel Thieme, executive director of the Sunnyside Shines Business Improvement District.  “The new street trees and their tree guards will add much-needed greenery to Queens Boulevard and Greenpoint Avenue and help make our neighborhood an even better place to shop, live and do business.”

      “On behalf of the Steinway Astoria Partnership, I want to thank Queens Borough President Katz for her capital funding award for green spaces on Steinway Street,” said Marie Torniali, Executive Director of the Steinway Astoria Partnership. “It has been a long time vision of ours to green the surroundings of the landmarked Steinway Clock and add a green space in the municipal lot.  We are most grateful to Borough President Katz for enabling us to bring this vision to fruition."

     “It is a great honor that Borough President Katz recognizes the potential of Farmers Boulevard and the neighborhood of St. Albans,” said Isa Abdur-Rahman, Executive Director of the Farmers Boulevard Community Development Corporation. “The residents here work very hard to maintain their homes and their families and we look forward to a beautified Farmers Boulevard that reflects our hard work.”

     “Adding light for pedestrians on the sidewalks along Jamaica Avenue is of significant benefit for business, encouraging stores to stay open longer and people to shop more and allowing everyone to feel safer in the district,” said Felicia Tunnah, the executive director of the Jamaica Center Business Improvement District. “The BID is grateful to Borough President Katz for her support for Downtown Jamaica and the BID and for recognizing the importance that lighting plays in economic revitalization.”

     “The Greater Woodhaven Development Corporation/Woodhaven Business Improvement is very thankful to our Queens Borough President Melinda Katz for our two capital grants totaling $325,000,”  said Maria A. Thomson, executive director of the Grater Woodhaven Development Corporation. “The addition of plantings with trees and the new street lighting along Jamaica Avenue is so very welcome.  The greenery will enhance our community of Woodhaven and the new lighting will improve our safety as well as positively affect our quality of life.” 

     “The attention being given to the Rockaways by Queens Borough President Melinda Katz is greatly appreciated,” said Danny Ruscillo Jr. President of the 100th Precinct Community Council   “Any money being put towards Beach 116th Street in Rockaway Park is a home run for the betterment of that area.”

     “Friends of Rockaway Beach welcomes the news of Borough President Melinda Katz’s generous allocation for Beach 116th Street in Rockaway Park” said John Cori, co-founder of Friends of Rockaway Beach. “This allocation will go a long way towards the betterment of one of the finest commercial districts on the peninsula and will brighten another jewel in the wonderful Borough of Queens!