Mostly known as a vibrant shopping destination, downtown Jamaica could soon transform into a hotspot for nightlife, restaurants, and other eateries. The Jamaica Center Business Improvement District and Sutphin Boulevard Business Improvement District hosted their second annual “Jamaica Revealed” program in a bid to attract restaurant owners. The developments could potentially bring thousands of extra pedestrians, visitors, and locals to the area.
The Times Ledger cites that there are only three sit-down restaurants in the area: Sangria’s on Sutphin Boulevard, Applebee’s on Jamaica Avenue, and CityRib on Parsons Boulevard. The Jamaica BID, Great Jamaica Development Corp., and Sutphin Boulevard BID conducted a 1,200-person survey earlier this year, determining the lack of dining options in downtown Jamaica.
“We got responses from several hundreds of people here – not just residents but people who visit here including students and transit workers, and we found out that based on their perceptions, we are only capturing about 20 percent of business,” said marketing analyst Mark Lohbauer. “We found that 46 percent of the people who do not shop regularly in Jamaica do not dine here because there are just not enough dining options.”
In the past year, the GJDC has made deals to develop a department store, hotel, and mixed-use commercial space. Notably in 2002, the development of the 460,000-square-foot entertainment and retail center Jamaica Center developed by Carl Mattone’s firm Mattone Group helped bring an estimated 400 jobs to the area. Major development has steadily continued since then showing no signs of slowing down.