April Brings New Beginnings to Queens

A Message from Queens Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Thomas Grech

As April brings with it new beginnings, so do the infrastructure projects in our great borough. From LaGuardia and JFK Airports to the proposed Sunnyside Yard redevelopment, these new projects will transform the import/export scene which will, in turn, create thousands of new jobs. Queens is now positioning itself as one of the most advanced boroughs in the nation.

LaGuardia and JFK redevelopments

One thing to remember about airports is that they transport people AND cargo. And by increasing their ability to bring in new flights, so do they increase the amount of trade done through both LGA and JFK. Promoting the import-export industry, especially around the airport corridors, is a tremendous untapped opportunity for Queens. These jobs offer great pay in shipping, freight, trucking, and warehousing.

But once the planes touch down with their cargo, another “roadblock” is encountered. Access for trucking becomes an issue. Air cargo companies like FedEx are using Newark, not JFK, because there is no direct highway access linking Kennedy and Manhattan or anywhere else. The Belt Parkway, for example, which runs along JFK’s northern perimeter, does not allow trucks or commercial vehicles, forcing drivers to use side streets or the Van Wyck Expressway.

Governor Cuomo’s press office has said regulations, truck access and future road projects all are part of ongoing discussions that will continue to include the PANYNJ, New York City and its agencies such as its Department of Transportation.

Jamaica BID

The proposed $500,000 annual budget of the JFK IBID provides for supplemental services, improvements and advocacy for the JFK IBID district and its members. Revenues are generated from a special assessment assigned to primarily commercial/industrial, mixed-use and undeveloped properties. This new infusion of money and opportunities will continue to create jobs and expand the amount of trade within the borough.

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